Cork-born teacher Ciara Mc Nally was bitten by the travel bug at a young age.
She shares her adventures on Instagram and on her blog, My Suitcase Diaries.
“I think the travel bug bit me a long time ago, because I was fortunate enough to grow up in a family that enjoyed exploring the world around us. During the school summer holidays, we country-hopped and travelled to countries like France, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, Germany and Luxembourg,” she says.
“I lived in New Zealand for a few months and went to school there when I was 16. I have lived and worked in the US and Italy and now I am based in Dublin.
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Every time I look at this photo I think 'Pretty, but do all the waterfall frolickers realise THERE ARE SNAKES IN THAT WATER TOO?'. And then I shudder because I remember that David Attenborough esque moment I spotted a snake wrestle with and kill a fish inches from where I'd been standing. *hums Circle of Life* #kravice #waterfalls #bosniaandherzegovina #mysuitcasediaries #tarastraveltribe #roamingnanny #bosnia #chasingthedonkey #beautifulbalkans #naturewonder
"But that doesn’t mean that the deep-seated yearning to travel doesn’t still linger.”
Ciara says she uses Instagram to draw people to her website.
"From there, I hope to encourage people to check out my website, where I blog about holidays abroad, city breaks, and staycations here in Ireland.”
As a teacher, Ciara is aware of the time-restrictions many families face when booking holidays.
“I write mainly about travel and particularly travel for those of us whose holidays are restricted to peak travel times, like school holidays.
“I want to showcase what to do with that time off and how to maximise your weekends and midterms on a budget.
“City breaks are my favourite thing to write about, because it is so easy to get a cheap flight deal and jump on a plane after work on a Friday.
"Transporting yourself to a new country, city, language and culture, just for the weekend, is a privilege and one of my favourite ways to spend a weekend.”
Ciara is also a huge fan of travelling alone.
“I am lucky enough to have had mainly positive experiences and speak about it glowingly. I would advocate for solo trips as a fantastic way to get to know yourself.
"Learn about your limits, your courage, push yourself, and if you don’t have a buddy to travel with, that shouldn’t stop you.”
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On my trips I've started to buy mementos that are home/ house related like a cheese board from Riga, a wine bottle stopper from Porto, a crudites bowl from.....hold up I've just noticed a pattern. My purchases are leaning more towards food/ wine rather than homes. Which clearly means, subconsciously......... #nesting #mysuitcasediaries #mementos #holidaymemories #Mostar
She is conscious of the pressures many people feel on social media and often goes on social media detoxes.
“One of the heavy sides of social media, especially Instagram, is the pressure to look a certain way, as that is what’s successful.
"Dressing in a certain style, being a certain size, visiting tropical locations, and always being fun can leave you feeling drained and inadequate.
“Having to take social media detox breaks is a very real thing.”