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Brandon’s Monthly Travel Picks: November

Hi! HAP Founder Brandon Berkson here: These past few weeks have been super busy, especially with our new travel agency HAP Concierge in the mix. Nevertheless, I’m super excited to share this month’s post for my Brandon’s Picks series below.

Pick #1: Piaule

New Yorkers, I recently traveled upstate to the Catskills for a romantic weekend with my significant other. We spent the night at the luxe, 24-cabin Piaule—if you love design and are a media junkie like me, you’ve seen major publications recently cover this new hotel. The setting was breathtaking, with autumn foliage, Scandinavian-minimalist design, and private wooden cabins fronting floor-to-ceiling windows. Hire a car for the weekend as Uber and cabs can be unreliable in this countryside area.

Pick #2: Trendland

Ok, so how did I not know about this publication? I’m always on Apple News (like, always on it). Trendland covers the latest trends in design, art, fashion, and photography. They introduced me to this uber-cool Danish Artist named Jakob Kudsk Steensen (he did this incredible exhibition in Berlin). Plus, I love their website’s aesthetic.

Pick #3: Tara Brach’s Guided Meditations

With a PhD, numerous books, and retreats to her name, Tara Brach brings Western psychology and Eastern spiritual practices, plus mindful attention to her students’ inner lives. Before you ask how this is relevant to travel, hear me out: When on vacay, we want to be our most present and mindful selves, right? However, we often fail to do so—work emails, pressing deadlines, and social media phone notifications hinder our efforts to live in the moment fully. You can start by exploring her site, which has many meditations. Usually, I do a Tara Brach week if I’m stressed and not in the best headspace, especially if I have a trip coming up. What’s that mean? I commit to five days of doing her meditations, in an effort to be my most present self on vacation. While nothing is changed overnight and it’s a continuous practice, I often find myself more mindful when traveling after these meditative days. If you have the app Calm, she’s on there too—I like her “Relax Open-Hearted Presence” meditation.

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