hey_ciara hey_ciara

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Ciara  Quit my job to travel the 🌎 solo Regular girl showing HOW & WHY to travel Feat: @forbes @cosmopolitan @elleusa Heyciara1@gmail.com Real talk& Tips ⤵️

2 years. 2 freaking years. 😭😭😭⁣
It’s officially been 2 years since I put two weeks notice in, sold all of my furniture, moved out of my apartment, nearly threw up from anxiety, quit my stable job, and jumped on a one way flight to Mexico. ⁣

I had NO idea what was in store for me one month down the line, let alone two years down the line. I knew my savings would last for a year, but I had no idea how things would play out after that. Behind the scenes there have been many moments of fear, doubt, confusion, and uncertainty. There have also been many moments of intense joy, happiness, synchronicity, beauty, and much more than I could ever convey or express.⁣

As a result, I’ve become so comfortable living in the unknown. Just allowing life to unfold and adapting accordingly has led to an incredible existence. Scary no doubt, but so so worth it. I’ve learned to lead with love instead of fear in every area of my life.

And I’m enjoying every moment, because i know this chapter won’t last forever. One day, routine/structure will be my norm again and I’m fine with that too. But for now? ⁣

I’m enjoying the ride(and THRIVING). And I urge you to do the same. Ive discovered that it’s not about the destination, but who you become along the way. Know that simply living in your truth will encourage others to do the same. If you would have told me that id technically be an entrepreneur and waiting for the plane to take off to work as a ‘travel expert’ on my biggest project yet 2 years later, i wouldn’t have believed you(well, maybe 😉). ⁣I’m celebrating 2 years, but more importantly...I’m celebrating the magic that can happen when you listen to your being. Thank you all for accompanying me along the way.

I will be sharing a life update on the blog within the next few days. I have so much to share with you all and I can’t wait! Here’s to the next....however many years! ❤️❤️❤️ Share with me in the comments YOUR greatest accomplishments or proudest moments within the past few years. Take a moment to appreciate how far you’ve come.

Who can relate?? 🙋🏾‍♀️ Giving away a premium membership to @scottscheapflights to help you score cheap a$$ flights. [WINNER CHOSEN]

Follow me, like this post, and respond below telling me where you’d fly if you could go anywhere in the world!
Winner will be selected on the 18th! Congrats to @aviously_amazing !!

DETROIT MINI TRAVEL GUIDE | Favorite Stops with my best friend @vivalavida_bb in Detroit 💕💕(SAVE) ⁣

•Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History(10/10 would recommend...if you do ANYTHING in Detroit) •Motown Museum(Short, but v engaging) ⁣

•Detroit Tigers Opening Day(amazing to watch the city come to life)

•Food: Dime Store for bomb brunch, Madcap for specialty coffee & tea, Urban Soul for home-cooked soul food( AND kool aid), Drought for fresh juice, sweets baked to perfection at Sister Pie, & will share more on the blog. ⁣

• The Cutest Aquarium I ever did see at Belle Isle. ⁣

• Craft Cocktails at Standby, the Candy Bar, the Apparatus Room, and the Evening Bar - all speakeasy vibes. ⁣

• Coneys at American Coney Island v. Lafayette Coney Island ⁣

• Dancing to House music at the TV Lounge! Couldn’t have chosen a better way to end our trip than here. ⁣

• What we missed out on: the Heidelberg Project, African Bead Museum & Diego Rivera(largest in the world) collection at the Detroit Museum of Fine Arts, Greektown, Detroit Vegan Soul and honestly so much more. Guess that just means I’ll have to return??? I hear summertime is festival season anyway 🤷🏾‍♀️ ⁣

Will be sharing more in 2 new blog posts but I hope this series brought Detroit to the forefront of your mind as a potential travel destination. If so, please do let me know in the comments. As I always say, you never know until you go!!⁣

So glad my college best-friend @vivalavida_bb was able to join me on this trip, you made it so special. Follow her to see her perspective of the trip! @visitdetroit owes us nothing 💕⁣

Can my Detroit locals share your biggest recommendations below? For everyone else - Do you have a travel destination that you’d happily return to if given the chance? .
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#DetroitItsGOTime #itsgotime #puremichigan #detroit #visitdetroit #michigan #detroitusa #exploreamerica #visittheusa

TALKING TO LOCALS WHEN YOU TRAVEL ||| “What I want people to know about Detroit is that it has been a hub of innovation and ingenuity since it’s inception and it hasn’t gone anywhere. And as the blackest city in America, this place is important. It’s not forgotten. It’s not coming back. It’s never left.”(Swipe to see my amazement lol)

I took an Arts and Architecture tour of downtown Detroit and in my goal to present more local perspectives to you all, I asked my tour guide to share what others should know about Detroit. His response wasn’t planned or scripted. It obviously came from the heart. .
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During the tour, Anthony shared facts about Detroit’s past, present, and future. Many of us either know of or have heard stories of corruption, economic downturn and systemic racism that continue to affect the midwestern city. However, Detroit has proven itself to be relentless. .
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On my final night, I sat in a bar and sparked a conversation with a man next to me who was born and raised in Detroit. I asked him a question that I ask locals wherever I travel, “Do you like living in Detroit.” He responded, “Of course. I love it. This city is my baby. What they say about us is not true, at least not anymore than any other major city - and I’m sure you’ve discovered that during your time here. Thank you for giving this city a chance.” .
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And he was right. So many of you have messaged me saying how much you LOVE that I’m sharing your hometown. It’s easy to see why you’re all so proud. I love posting pretty photos but these are the kind of stories I want to tell. ​

How do you best connect with locals when you travel? Do you make an effort to do so?
#DetroitItsGOTime @visitdetroit #itsgotime

HOW TO BREEZE THROUGH THE AIRPORT || (SAVE THIS POST) .
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I feel most at home in the clouds these days, but I’d be lying if I said the #airportstruggle wasn’t REAL. Flights delays, gate changes, overweight baggage, cancelled flights, etc - at this point, I’ve experienced it all. Some things are out of your control but it definitely helps to be prepared. Here are my biggest tips on to breeze through the airport: .
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Check in online - I’ve been using @appintheair to automatically check in online before I fly(which helps me avoid the check in desk/lines), download my boarding pass, measure my luggage, etc. and receive flight notifications all before flying. It’s been like a personal assistant and they’re giving away $2500 to anyone who downloads through tomorrow(April 12th). Link in bio @hey_ciara .
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Join Team Carry On - it’s tough but I try to pack in a carry on only when possible. You get to bypass checked luggage lines completely and head straight to security. Then you don’t have to worry about waiting at baggage claim after your flight. And oh, no chance of lost/delayed luggage - been there, done that 🙄 even if you don’t join team carryon, ALWAYS check baggage allowance before heading to the airport- $$$$ .
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Get Global Entry(Includes TSA Precheck) - this changes the game, seriously. Security lines are much shorter & you don’t have to remove as much from your bag(shoes stay in & laptop stays in bag) .
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Know TSA/Security Rules - stay under the liquid carry on limit and be prepared(with socks) to remove extra clothing/shoes if necessary
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Keep All Documents On Hand - passport, ID, boarding pass, etc. should be easy to access throughout the process. .
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Once you get through security, check the gate display because it may change. And if you fly frequently, you may consider getting a priority pass which gives you free unlimited access to many lounges around the world! .
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What are you biggest airport tips? What’s your biggest airport struggle? #appintheair | partner .
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Feel free to save this or send to a friend who will be flying soon!

HOW TO FIND THE BEST RESTAURANTS WHEN YOU TRAVEL | (Save this post!!) .
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Let’s be real. Travel is like 93 percent about the food. We’ve all done a side-eye when someone suggests Mickey D’s or a chain restaurant during a trip. After all, who travels to a new destination to eat the same food you can get on every corner at home? Not I. The second best feeling after traveling is sinking your teeth into the best *insert food* you’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting and just KNOWING that you’ll never be able to enjoy that food the same again. You inevitably turn into that person whose constantly comparing every *insert food* to the one they had in *insert destination*. It happens 🤷🏾‍♀️
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I ate good(REAL GOOD) in Detroit and I may have had the best French toast of my life at @dimestoremtl . I also ate at one of the best bakeries ever(@sisterpiedetroit So many good restaurants, bars, bakeries, etc. that were the highlight of my trip. .
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Here’s how I always find the best restaurants:
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Ask a local - this is a given. Ask your bartender, Uber driver, literally anyone for their favorite restaurants. They’ll likely be more than happy to share. Our bartender at @easternmarketbrewing literally spent 15+ minutes sharing allllll of her favorite spots in the city. I still have the napkin. .
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Google Maps - One of my favorite resources/apps to use while traveling. Type in ‘hotdogs’(what detroit is known for) into the search bar and it’ll pull up the best restaurants. I also love checking out details like ‘popular times’ and reviews for a good idea of when & where to go. .
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Get Lost - seriously, just wander around. We stumbled upon @drought(juice bar) and Evening Bar(a speakeasy) simply because they looked cool. Walk around and follow your curiousity. .
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Social Media - Instagram and Pinterest are incredible resources to research before you go. I usually ‘save’ places that look cool when I’m planning for a trip. Search local food pages or city/food hashtags for interesting places that you can’t find in a guidebook. Many of you sent me recs, so thx! How do you find places to eat when you travel?
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Stay tuned for more! ​#DetroitItsGOTime @visitdetroit #ItsGOTime

Don’t sleep on Detroit. Currently on a high after spending a couple of days in ‘Motor City’. First of all, wow. Second of all, where have I been?? Oh, that’s right...
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I’ve spent the past few years traveling mostly outside of the US with the intent of immersing myself in different cultures and surrounding myself with different languages. It is and has been very exciting, however there’s another side to that coin. As a result, I’ve missed out on the beauty in my own backyard. I’ve overlooked US towns and cities that are just as rich in culture and history. .
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Earlier this year, I committed to visiting more cities within the US. There are so many places that I’ve yet to explore and it’s time for me to change that. Check my IG stories and turn on post notifications to see what I got up to in Detroit! Spoiler alert: it was a good time. .
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Have you spent more time traveling outside or inside of the US? If so, what’s your reasoning? Have you ever thought about visiting Detroit as a travel destination? .
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#DetroitItsGOTime @visitdetroit #ItsGOTime

Thank you all for following along as I showed you my favorite parts of my trip in @visitjacksonms. I got a chance to learn about the history through small businesses and museums while also witnessing the current transformation Jackson is going through. I found myself impressed with a city that wasn’t previously on my radar and i think that’s what travel is all about. My top 5 experiences included:
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Visiting the Civil Rights Museum - I was moved to tears more than once. .
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Dining at Babalu - if you don’t know, now you know. .
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Connecting with locals - Southern hospitality is REAL and it was very evident through ever conversation I had in Jackson
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Exploring the Fondren District - a very trendy neighborhood in Jackson, largely fuels by the young college population in the area .
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Listening to live music at the Iron Horse Grill! Can’t visit Jackson without hearing some live blues music.
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Head to www.heyciara.com(link in bio) to see where I stayed, ate, and played during my weekend in Jackson! After 4+ years of traveling and sharing my experiences along the way, it feels amazing to be invited to Jackson to explore on my own terms. I can’t express enough how much your support means! .
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What do you think of Jackson, Mississippi? Is it on your bucket list? .
#visitjackson #followmetojackson #citywithsoul | partner

Mississippi was the last state to end prohibition in the 1960s and @catheaddistillery was the first distillery to open in the state. You can tour the property and taste samples onsite! .
As you can tell via my IG stories, I’ve really enjoyed the stops I made in Jackson, but I mostly enjoyed the stories behind each destination. It’s the reason I travel - to connect and go deeper. .
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Tomorrow I’ll be sharing where I stayed, ate, and played in Jackson in a mini guide on my IG and a longer guide on my blog!
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@visitjacksonms jacksonms #visitjackson #followmetojackson #citywithsoul | partner

Food was one of my favorite aspects of visiting Jackson! Being somewhat from the south(Texas), I’m a huge fan of soul food and there were no shortage of good restaurants. From crab croquettes at @eatbabalu to southern fried chicken biscuits at @brentsdrugs, fried okra at the @ironhorsegrill to fried catfish at @johnnytsbistroandblues - I WAS IN HEAVEN. I’d visit just for the food and go back all over again for it. .
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Check IG stories to see what else I got up to! Are you a fan of soul food?
@visitjacksonms #followmetojackson #citywithsoul #visitjackson | partner

This hole in the wall has been featured by Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern, which is already saying a lot. It’s known for their smokes and pig ear sandwiches, but it is so much more than a restaurant. The @bigappleinn has been around since the late 1930’s and it’s played a major role in the community.
In fact, it once served as an office and meeting point for civil rights groups and freedom writers in the 1960s. I got a chance to speak with the (4th generation) owner, Geno Lee, about his family business, their story, and how they created the most interesting sandwich in America. - swipe right to watch him tell his story!

So happy to share his story and business with y’all in this way! Would you try a pig ear sandwich?
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In partnership with @visitjacksonms #followmetojackson #citywithsoul | partner

There are some places that surprise you. Jackson, Mississippi was that destination for me. When I told friends that I would be spending a weekend in this southern city solo earlier this month, they looked a bit confused. And honestly, I had no idea what to expect either. However, I always aim to visit every destination with an open mind, which I personally feel is the best way to travel. Let’s just say that visiting Jackson was truly one of the best trips I’ve taken in a very long time, even more so because it was unexpected.
I’m stoked to share more about my time there because unlike many well-known Insta famous destinations, it may not be on your radar. And that’s what my blog is all about - introducing places, stories, and even faces to you through my own eyes. From hidden speakeasies in refurbished pharmacies to the most dynamic civil rights museum I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting, this city is full of soul. I hope that you’ll love the stories that I share from my time there! #Followmetojackson this weekend!
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Checking into @oldcapitolinn_rooftopbar which is a boutique hotel & rooftop bar in central Jackson! What are your thoughts on Jackson, Mississippi? Have you ever been? Anything specific you want me to share? .
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In partnership with @visitjacksonms #visitjackson #citywithsoul | partner

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