A Thinkwellian’s 3 City Trip Itinerary: Sara Beil

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While we’re in week 10 of working from home, we’re continuing with our fictional travel series, where we’ve invited a few Thinkwellians to research places they would want to visit on a fictional, whirlwind business trip to three cities around the world. Last week, we heard from Chris Durmick, Principal, Attractions and Museums, as he explored Savannah, Georgia; Zürich, Switzerland; and Hong Kong. This week, we’ve asked Sara Beil, a writer in our Content Department, to head off on her fictional business trip to Toronto, Canada; Dublin, Ireland; and Seoul, South Korea. Here’s what she would explore in each of those cities..


I’m not a pre-planner. I have been known to embark on trips where I don’t even have my hotel room booked out three days in advance (I do not recommend this). Instead, I have a running list of things I’d like to see in various cities across the world in the Notes app on my phone. I rely on this list whenever I travel, in addition to the recommendations of locals. Other than that, I let the wind be my guide as I stumble on things to do. I generally like to find the eccentric quirks of each city — weird things you can’t find in any other location — and of course, food. Good food is essential. 


I’d start the day with a quick bite somewhere. I always love trying the foods that are unique to each city, so I’d grab a peameal bacon sandwich from Carousel Bakery or check out St. Lawrence Market. Then, I’d likely wander the city on my way to checking out Casa Loma. In addition to food, the other thing I look for when I travel is theater. So, my next stop would be to check out an upcoming performance at the Winter Garden Theater, which looks stunning on the inside (I’m a millennial and I like things covered in flowers, so sue me). Then, I would end the day the only way you can end a day in Canada — drowning yourself in delicious poutine.


I’ve done Dublin in two days before, so let’s try one! The one thing I regretted not being able to do was to get out of the city center and explore the Irish countryside. So, realistically, I’d probably try to take a day trip to anywhere with a beautiful view just outside the city. However, I am a good student and will adhere to the rules set before me. As a former English major, whenever I’m in Dublin I have to pay my respects to the literary greats. Wilde is a favorite of mine, so I’d visit his statue in Merrion Square and his old residence. You can’t leave Dublin without several glasses of whisky and beer, so I’d have to take a tour of the Jameson Distillery, before embarking on a pub crawl of the city. I love a good converted bar, so I’d have to end my crawl with The Church, an old church-turned-bar, for a pint of Guinness. 


I’m perhaps the most excited about this city. I only have one goal here: TRY ALL THE FOOD. I would try to visit as many street markets as possible and sample everything until I can’t walk anymore. Then, once I get out of my food coma, I’d try to visit Yongma Land (an Atlas Obscura find). As someone who works in the theme park business, I have a strange affinity and fascination for abandoned theme parks. There’s a strange beauty and eeriness in walking through a place that was once intended for thousands of people which is now being devoured by weeds and wilderness. This is Yongma Land. And, if I have time at the end of the day (I wouldn’t, but this is my fantasy here), I’d still love to visit Bukchon Hanok Village or Gyeongbokgung Palace to take in some culture.