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Meet Lara Green of Packed Perfectly in Venice Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lara Green.

Lara, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I have taken the non-traditional approach to life in just about every aspect, especially where I have chosen to live. I am Asheville Born, NYC Shaped, European stylized, Australian, and newly Californian. I elongated the traditional gap year to fit my life and set out to live meaningful travel, wanting to experience cities through the eyes of a local. That desire has lead me to develop many friendships all over the earth, from all walks of life. My dinner table is a multi-cultural one as are all global citizens.

Whether I am standing on the edge of the world’s highest bungee jump in New Zealand, getting dared to eat a scorpion in Bangkok, riding a camel to camp in the Sahara desert, or racing across the Mekong Delta to play a pickup game of water basketball in Laos— I am conscious of the impact I am making while being impacted by the local culture.

Living in another part of the world forces you to look at it differently—it broadens your perspective. My reality is I am one of those weirdos that can embrace constant change with a childlike outlook—wandering into the unknown seeking knowledge and friendships. I basically want to turn over as many rocks as I can while I am on this Earth; adding to my social capital.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Theodore Roosevelt once said: “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, and difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”

When you create something from nothing you are basically creating your own struggles. Forging your own path means you are the one bushwacking not the one in the Tesla driving through. I sought out to solve a problem. Instead of spending hours researching travel, the destinations, events, and wellness retreats I wanted to experience from various blogs, travel sites, and reviews that I didn’t trust, I wanted to create a trusted one-stop shop for all budgets.

I wanted to alleviate spending the money and time to get places and missing out on things I didn’t know existed. I wanted to create a place where options and inspiration are limitless. I wanted a place where I could find my next experience, learn about the history, culture, what to do/stay/eat/drink/play for every budget. I want to know if I can volunteer or donate to the culture – and how to go about that properly. I want to know what to pack, and more so I want to shop packing list. Then I want to immediately book the hotel/car/flight which you can do from the nav bar. Or if I am too busy – I want to pay a concierge service that will book everything for me based on my travel personality and budget. I wanted that from ONE SITE. Creating Packed Perfectly has been the most endearing struggle I have ever had.

Please tell us about Packed Perfectly.
Packed Perfectly is a socially conscious, digital magazine that provides travelers with access to the latest insider information and tips regarding “where to travel,” “what to wear,” “where to stay”, “what to eat”, “what to do”, “how to give”, etc. With an easy-to-use booking platform built within the site, travelers can purchase plane tickets and make plans, all from one place!

In addition to our DIY platform, Packed Perfectly also offers an extremely popular concierge/DIFM (Do It For Me) booking service – for those looking to customize their trips – based upon a specific budget, itinerary, etc. The concierge services we offer curate over 500 honeymoons per year alone. We book our clients into hotels we know very well, have experienced and reviewed personally, and trust.

We have also worked with select B2B partners to location scout and plan influencer experiences. The hotels and retreats that have been part of these programs have received outsized benefits, compared with those participating in standard influencer campaigns, due to the “network effects” of the individuals and businesses we bring together. Packed Perfectly is dedicated to spreading the spirit of adventure

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Everything we learn happens at the time we should learn it – as there are other factors at play we may not understand, at least that is what I believe.

When you ‘founder’ something you tend to want control of it. Sometimes that makes you do things like self-fund, bootstrap harder than you should, and spend way too many hours picking at one thing. Obviously, if I had the knowledge I do now when I started this I would have done many things differently, but I learned valuable lessons along the way that saved me money in the future at a lower expense from learning them when I did.

Some of the most important lessons I have learned on this particular journey:

Due diligence – Research your heart out and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Align yourself with the right people. Just because you have a good friend who has cool ideas doesn’t mean you can work with them. Only partner with people who put up as much equity as you do.

The creation phase is hard work. The maintaining stage is hard work. No matter how smart you work, you work hard at what you love.

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Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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