A Thinkwellian’s 3 City Trip Itinerary: Gabrielle Maryse Bucaya
As we enter week 20 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 month, we heard from writer Jeremy Thompson as he explored Vancouver, Canada; Melbourne, Australia; and Vienna, Austria. This week, we’ve asked Gabrielle Maryse Bucaya, our Business Development Coordinator at Thinkwell Studio Montréal, to head off on her fictional business trip to Barcelona, Spain; New Orleans, Lousiana; and São Paulo, Brazil. Let’s see what she would experience in these cities…
Barcelona. New Orleans. São Paulo. Three magnificent cities I always dreamt of, but never had the opportunity to visit myself. Meetings after meetings on this fictional trip, I can’t help but have an itch for a sense of adventure that awaits me.
I would start my day as almost anyone would, visiting the Sagrada Familia. This unique world heritage sight developed by Gaudi looked even more beautiful in person; as if I truly wasn’t catfished from the overwhelming Instagram posts, videos on YouTube or photographs on the internet. As I enter the Cathedral, I can’t help but consider the details of this homage to not only Christianity, but the art that inspired Gaudi to bring this to life. If Gaudi knew people hadn’t given up on the building and were still working on it – what would he have thought? Would he have been flattered? Would he have looked at the building now and thought, “What in the world did I create?”.
To continue on, I’d make my way to the Park Güell, another of Gaudi’s famous works. There is mysticism and so much detail in the architecture that surrounds everyone here. The colours stand before you, all bright and vivid, almost as if one could hear them sing in your mind.
My final destination during the day is on the beach, where I’d feel comfortable enough to kick off my shoes and walk barefoot by the water. The sun’s warmth embrace by bare shoulders and jetlagged face.The only way to celebrate the remaining of the evening to come, is to get myself sangria and tapas to fully immerse myself in this enchanting city. Of course, dancing the night away is also on the cards.
Next comes New Orleans, Louisiana. As my hotel is in the French Quarter, I have the luxury of being in the heart of it all. Making my way through Royal Street to visit the antique shops and art galleries to kill time before the night festivities are always on the horizon. As the sun was goes down, the night heats up. I can feel my stomach grumble. Fortunately, I saw Johnny’s Po’boy sandwich shop nearby and felt no hesitation in going in. After a long day of brainstorming, somehow fried shrimp served in a baguette brings me comfort. After indulging in this traditional feast, it’s time to head towards Bourbon Street – notorious for its pleasantries and being the life of the city. My curiosity piqued, I noticed an old white saloon-style building that seemingly appeared like it belonged to a movie set.
A sign swung with the words “Jean Laffite’s OLD ABSINTHE HOUSE”. People coming in and out, falling over each other laughing, or hand-in-hand without a care in the world, I have to check this place out. As they say in Rome, “Do as the Romans do!”. A cramped little space with walls covered in photographs and old-fashioned bar stools fit in nicely with the ambience. Conversations nearly inaudible over the live jazz music, it’s easy to stick around for a few hours talking to locals about life in New Orleans.
Then there is São Paulo – the largest city in Brazil and seventh in the world. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the life of the people, its beautiful modern architecture and culture. Art is one of the pillars of this city, and that’s evident everywhere. Staying near Paulista Avenue, which is considered the pulse of the city, the skyscrapers dwarf anything on the ground floor. Where does all the energy come from? Could it be that their coffee beans were really one of the best? My final day of adventures would hold the answer.
Stopping by a local coffee shop nearby, grabbing a coffee myself and a Brigadeiro – that is, a bite-sized Brazilian dessert. It’s a reminder of a timbit in Canada, but somehow, more exciting. The moment coffee hit my system, I could feel the kick of the roast give me the energized kick I need to continue my exploration. To my luck, the Museo de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand (MASP) is open – a pioneering cultural center filled with over 8,000 paintings. In 2 hours, you can journey through a European 17th century into contemporary art pieces created by Latin American artists.
To get some fresh air and conclude my afternoon, I would take a relaxing moment to walk along the Parque Ibirapuera, an enchanting park in the heart of the city. Here, you can watch lovers walk hand-in-hand, making me miss my own partner back home. The fresh flowers that are evidently cared for diligently, bringing life to the atmosphere overwhelm the area in their wonderful, floral aromas. With the ripples on the lake moving swiftly with the light breeze of the fresh air, this is how I want to finish my journey, and with that, it’s time to head back home.