A Thinkwellian’s 3 City Trip Itinerary: Kate McConnell

During this shutdown, Thinkwellians are still hard at work. Typically, our line of work has a large amount of travel and while we can’t go anywhere currently, we asked our teams the following question to keep creativity and fun flowing: If you had to go on a whirlwind, worldwide business trip for Thinkwell to three cities with a small stretch of downtime in each city, what would you do? Where would you eat, what would you see?

Their responses were amazing, and over the upcoming weeks, we’re going to share a new Thinkwellian’s imagined trip each week.

Travelwell - Kate McConnell

To launch this series, we asked Senior Creative Director, Kate McConnell, if she had to travel to Brussels, Belgium; Miami, Florida; and Shanghai, China, what she would do. From dining and reading in themed spaces in Brussels to Kayaking in Florida, she built out quite the itinerary.  Check it out below!

If Thinkwell was sending me on a whirlwind business trip to this far-flung trio of destinations, the first thing I’d do is to hit up our resident foodies Cynthia Sharpe and Craig Hanna and see if they had any dining recommendations and be sure to plan my meals accordingly. 

That done, it’s time to get to Googling my favorite things to do in a new city — museums, gardens, walking tours, and, most important, bookstores. Sure, I’m not going to speak the language in two of these three cities, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the atmosphere, try to spot my favorite authors in translation, browse their English language section, and pick up a book or notebook or pen to bring home to remember the trip.

In Brussels, I might plan a visit to Cook and Book, which pairs dining and reading in different themed spaces. Their English-language room looks like an old-school library — dark wooden shelves, cushy chairs, and tea and scones to enjoy — while the travel section has a shiny silver Airstream trailer that you can sit in as you flip through guidebooks.

A chocolate-themed walking tour through the city and a visit to the Musical Instruments Museum in the Old England Building or a photo-taking hour in Grand Place at night might round out my visit.

I’m more of a forest person than a beach person so Miami isn’t a place I’d generally plan to go on my own. But a quick search turns up Vizcaya Museums and Gardens, which sparks some excitement as a place to check out on a business trip. Gorgeous formal gardens, architectural tours, and art collections? Count me in. And if I’ve got more Miami time — sea kayaking with the manatees!

Last up: Shanghai. I’ve never made it over to China before, so this will be a fun treat. Of the three of these cities, this is the one where I’d be most likely to book a walking tour (in English, of course) to get a sense of the city — maybe a historical one through Old Town or the former French Concession, or a food-oriented one that lets me sample some amazing street food.

After that I’m heading to Fuzhou Road, which is a whole street full of pen and stationery stores and book shops! Time to stock up on new inks, lovely pens, and some notebooks to write in. 

And that concludes my theoretical Thinkwell trip to a cool trio of cities! I’ll be heading home with some gorgeous photos, wonderful memories, and — I’m betting — a bag full of new books, notebooks, and pens. You can never have too many…