1. When moving, can you simply match up any icon on the cards or do you have to check FIRST for terrain, and then, if not, you can check others?
i'm not entirely sure what you mean or why it would matter but when moving you look for a match for the space you are moving to. a match is either an icon that matches the terrain or an icon that matches the continent you are on. typically it's more efficient to match terrain first and then use the continent in the event you don't have the terrain but I think you can use them in any order that you want. that said using a continent symbol when you don't have to is rarely the right play but there may be some edge cases involve migration where you'd want to do this.
ultimately i believe it's up to you to use the symbols as you wish.