Meet Kristen Brendel, Mindfulness Expert and Founder of Per La Vita Wellness

Kristen Brendel Per La Vita Welness

This week’s guest is Kristen Brendel, a licensed clinical social worker and mindfulness expert. She received her PhD in Social Work from Loyola University Chicago and works as an assistant professor of social work at Aurora University. She also owns and operates Per La Vita Wellness, LLC, a company dedicated to mindfulness-based clinical interventions for holistic health and wellness. At Per La Vita Wellness, Kristen takes groups abroad on mindfulness retreats to Thailand and Costa Rica, facilitates mindfulness-based stress reduction classes to small groups, and organizes and facilitates workshops for schools, corporations, non-profit agencies, and hospitals. Kristen’s favorite pastime is traveling with her husband and teenaged daughter and going on hikes to local forest preserves.

She was the perfect guest to talk about post-vacation blues and travel stress for our last installment of our How to Plan a Trip Series. To learn more about Kristen, check out our Q&A with her after the jump.

1) Where have you traveled?

I’ve been to 30 U.S. States, including Hawaii, as well as England, France, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, The Republic of Moldova, Costa Rica, Cuba, Mexico, Canada, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts, Jamaica, The Bahamas, Thailand, and Japan.

2) What’s been your favorite trip so far?

I don’t have a favorite but I do seem to always want to return to Thailand, Hawaii, Costa Rica, and Italy.

3) What are three things you always take with you when you travel?

Protein bars (Luna Bar’s chocolate peanut butter to be specific), a necklace with religious medals that were blessed by three different popes, and my Kindle.

4) What’s your next destination?

I will be taking a group of women on a mindfulness retreat to Costa Rica over New Years and likely another group to Thailand this summer. My family and I are planning to extend the Thailand trip to either South Africa or Australia.

5) Give us one reason why you travel.

For the love of exploration!

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