Enjoying the new spa at Ashford Castle

By Natalie McGuinness, guest writer for Unwind and let go.

The spa at Ashford Castle was reviewed by The Irish Times shortly before I visited, so my anticipation levels were raised based on the glowing feedback. The spa is a cleverly designed glass annex like an orangery for cultivating beauty and relaxation, tucked away in the west of Ireland. My first visit to the Spa was for an emergency file and paint.

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Tips on Long Haul Travel

By Joanie Bergin, guest writer for Unwind and let go

Tips on Long Haul Travel

Over the years I have traveled long haul extensively for both business and pleasure. The most important thing I have learnt from various trips around the globe is to be kind to people you meet along the way. I cannot convey how wonderful and unexpected things can happen when you either offer help to someone or offer a friendly smile. No matter what your mood is when you start your journey or even the booking process, my tried and tested tip is to always be polite and show goodwill to the airline staff, airport staff and other passengers. A thank you or a smile to even the cleaners in the bathrooms brighten their days when so many people can be dismissive. Believe me the goodwill comes back in terms of better seats, upgrades or a nicer meal from the first or business cabin and higher quality snacks. I still remember the time my flight was cancelled and rather than staying overnight in Frankfurt I asked to be routed via Hong Kong, met a friend for coffee and chat and got home to my Malaysian apartment 10 hours before my rescheduled flight was due to land. Trust me, kindness works every time!

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A Spring Detox

A Spring DetoxIt seems my urge to declutter extends also to myself, and about a month ago I started a detox program. Designed to boost energy, heal the gut and of course remove nasty toxins from your body, detox programs come in many shapes and sizes. I went with the The Clean Program, beloved by Gwyneth Paltrow and Goop followers, and when I was last in the US, I picked up the Clean detox pack and started the very next day.

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Photographing San Francisco

Photographing San FranciscoI spent an early morning dawn photographing San Francisco with Doc Miles Photography on a recent trip to the city by the bay. Doc collected me from my hotel at 5.00am and we whizzed off in his brand new range rover with cameras and tripods to catch the sun rise. Fortunately I had been wide awake since the early hours with a mix of jet lag and anticipation but felt reasonably confident and alert for the adventure. Our first stop was Bay Bridge which spans San Francisco Bay and dates back to the 1930’s. As it shimmered in the street lights, I set up my camera and stared into my viewfinder only to see pitch black. It took me a few moments to realise to my utter embarrassment, I had forgotten to remove the lense cap from my camera. Having fumbled around to fix that, myself and Doc quickly established that I was in truth a complete rookie and this was in fact my first attempt at capturing cityscapes.

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A facial at Hotel Principe Di Savoia Milan

Milan Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

Whenever I travel to Milan, I like to stay at the Hotel Principe Di Savoia. Quintessentially Italian with luxurious interiors and slightly chaotic service, the hotel is a landmark meeting place not too far from the iconic Duomo and central fashion district. In recent times, I have through various commitments been back and forth to the hotel and though I am rarely greeted as a frequent customer or with any semblance of recognition, I always like to return for the luxurious bedrooms and scrumptious La Dolce Vita decor.

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Decluttering and minimizing my life

Pencils in a rowI am in the process of decluttering and minimizing my life. In a completely random act, I signed up for a 12 week online course in January which takes you through a step by step guide to reducing the clutter in your life and encourages you to scale back on all that you own. There are a couple of things here.

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