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The Column: For The First Time In Over A Decade – I Actually Switched Off

For the first time in about 10 years I went on holiday without my laptop.

No emails, no work group chats, client updates, nothing. I completely switched off and it was so long overdue.

If you work in the entertainment industry or you run your own business you’ll understand the constant pressure to be available all the time, so true mixing those two categories together. Working 24/7 has always been a constant for me.

I remember being in my first newspaper job and being attached to my Blackberry, it could ring any time of day or night and I would answer. I would get important texts and emails at all hours and I was always in a panic to write back. To this day hearing a Blackberry ring tone honestly sends my heart into palpitations.

I started out in this industry when I was in college, meaning I have been hooked to my phone, laptop, 24/7 news and my work life for 13 years…

It’s only in recent years that I’ve learned to pull back a bit when I’m off (except, you know, when I’m also studying for my law degree), but I’ve never truly taken a holiday since I started Goss Media in 2014.

So this month I decided to pack my bags and head for the sunshine – laptop free.

I chose Dubai because I knew the weather would be perfect for poolside sunbathing, that there were so many gorgeous restaurants to choose from and I knew I could book in some incredible experiences over there – like skydiving into the Dubai palm (which I did).

I kicked off my time away with Platinum Services at Dublin Airport – a service I don’t think I’ll be able to live without, going forward. My bags, passport and Covid documents were gone as quickly as my first glass of champagne was poured. And being chauffeured directly to the plane was the cherry on top.

From start to finish this break truly was a break from reality – something we all need from time to time.

Enjoying Platinum Services at Dublin Airport

The first morning in Dubai I woke up to clear skies and 26 degrees. The first decision of the day was simply “what bikini will I wear”, rather than making serious business decisions or taking three back to back meetings.

I only had five full saga over there so I wanted to make the most of my time. Day 1 included a trip to the stunning Aura Skypool, which is a must visit if you’re heading to Dubai.

The tallest infinity pool in the world, you can book a bed from 3-7pm so you can watch the sunset over the city. All while relaxing poolside with a glass of bubbles and some delicious food.

 

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Every night was a dinner with a stunning view.

The first night we headed to top Italian eatery Fi’lia Dubai, placed on the roof of the SLS hotel.

Located on the 71st floor, you can watch the busy streets of Dubai beneath you as you enjoy Italian specialties.

Given I really wanted to clear my head on this trip, I thought what better way than a skydive? Surely for those five minutes in the sky I wouldn’t think about work or any of life’s stresses?

 

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I didn’t.

Jumping out of a plane and falling into Dubai was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life. I wanted to just escape reality for even a few moments on this trip, and skydiving gave me that solace.

If you’re an adrenaline junkie or you just want to push yourself to do something new and exciting, I couldn’t recommend Skydive Dubai enough.

Next up was chartering a yacht around the bay, where a group of us got to enjoy Dubai by water at night. The buildings sparkled as the waved crashed, while the cheesiest music on earth played in the background (we accidentally rented a ‘love boat’).

 

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Shortly after we enjoyed exquisite food at beach restaurant Shimmers on the Beach, a cosy eatery within the Four Seasons Hotel, with views of the Burj Al Arab.

and if you want dinner with a view, I definitely recommend BICE Mare in the Dubai Mall. Here you’ll have a front seat to the fountain show at the Burj Khalifa.

Although I have so many highlights from the trip, from sunbathing to skydiving, the best part of the entire holiday was switching off.

We’ve all had such a difficult, uncertain, worrying two years, now is the time to let go, travel again, enjoy life and put the laptop away.

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