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Meet Paris Verra of @ParisVerra

Today we’d like to introduce you to Paris Verra.

Paris, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I am a travel addicted actress and freelance model based in Los Angeles but sharing my adventures around the globe.

I grew up in a small town south of Chicago, Illinois. Since my parents split when I was very young, I became used to moving from place to place; never attaching to things in my life. I grew up being raised by my mother who was a teacher (in many ways). The first trip I ever made was in grade school. My mother brought me with her for 3 weeks to Honduras, a third world country, to live rough and teach the children in the village. Although I was young and did not always appreciate it in the time, I believe this experience shaped me and my view the world. As I got older, not only did I find the value of materialistic things diminish, but I began to open my eyes to realize how much the gloomy weather of Illinois influenced people’s mood. I found it difficult to find genuinely happy people that focused on the beauty of life.

Going back to a small town for the rest of my high school, I was eager to get out. I got into every big university that I applied to, as well as track scholarship opportunities, but I could not justify any amount of loans, time, friendships, or money worth learning something I was not passionate about. I saw wealthy, successful families that lived unhappy. I realized no amount of schooling or money would define success nor happiness. I saved up money working at an animal hospital and waitressing in the night and I left Illinois. I pushed my comfort zone and road tripped in my crappy car to Los Angeles, California. I did not know anyone and I had never visited in my life. I chased the sunshine, new opportunities, and a town where no-one knew my name.

As soon as I settled into LA I began road tripping anywhere and everywhere I could capturing moments on my iPhone and GoPro and sharing on my Instagram with less than 2,000 followers. After I felt I had drove to all my favorites’ places in the states, I bought my first ticket to Hawaii and then Thailand. I fell in love with nature and experiencing new places. During this time I went to a community college for 2 years while freelance modeling and working as a stand in and extra actress in movies and TV. I made amazing connections and fell in love with the industry. I started to realize what I love didn’t need a degree, and once I began to focus on that I got my theatrical and commercial agent, that I’m still with today. Now, instead of going to school I worked as a manager at a clothing store and auditioned 24/7. As many people know, living in Los Angeles is not all flowers and sunshine; it’s sweat, struggle, pain, hustle, competition, rejection after rejection, and very expensive. None of this scared me, instead I used it at motivation to grow and push my limits and work 10x harder. I received very little help from my parents, and I’m thankful for that. I believe good work ethic is one of the greatest skills you can have in anything you do in life.

I spent about 3 years living in Los Angeles and it took a good year before booking a bigger role. Once I booked a small commercial role, and a co-star role in the TV series FUED, I bought a camera, a new laptop, I broke my apartment lease in LA, took that money to spend my summer traveling through Europe, Bali, Jordan, Australia, New Zealand, Dubai, and now meeting my mother half way across the world, who became an international teacher in Saudi Arabia. I have always been in love with graphic design, photography, and anything that involved creativity (even just making a PowerPoint in school). I took everything that I learned being in front of the camera and applied it to being behind it. I watched endless videos on YouTube and watched how fellow photographers worked and edited (a special thanks to photographer Christopher James for helping me chose my first camera and learning the basics of Photoshop). I continued sharing my photos on Instagram and then created a blog where I could put my countless hours and sleepless nights of research and travel mishaps into one simple place to share my adventures in hope to influence people to get out and experience life likewise.

I am grateful to have an acting agency that allows me to balance my two favorite things, acting and traveling. While I am traveling I can self-tape anywhere in the world and audition anytime I am in LA. I have fell in love with the world and grown as person in indescribable ways and I am grateful to be able to share that through my photos and videos. As my Instagram grew, I began to have opportunities to promote and make money through posting or creating for a company. Something that helps the cost of traveling for me is staying for free at some resorts by promoting through social media (but it is still a lot of work non-the-less). Although work is not consistent in this lifestyle, I would not change it for anything. I would rather have a few dollars in my pocket, sharing my experience living in a local village in Jordan, than be rich working my 9-5, with 1 vacation a year, and coming home to my $2,000+/mo. rent in the USA.

Home, I have realized is a feeling, not a place. Although I base myself in Los Angeles, through this almost 2 year journey of being “homeless” with no actual rent to pay, traveling to over 30 countries; I have met my best of friends, the most amazing creatives and likeminded people, slept in caves under the stars, pet cheetahs, walked through the desert with camels and through cities in abayas, ran through the rice fields, danced on Greece rooftops, swam in tropical waterfalls, watched the sunset over the clearest waters the eyes will ever see, and watched people around the world living with nothing – smile with the purest form of joy.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
From my photos you don’t see the struggles; the 18 hr. plane rides, 8 hr. layovers, 2 hour boat rides, shooting in 100 degree weather, and sleeping with no AC in a tiny room or tent. You don’t see the 14 hour days on set for a TV show for 2 scenes. Leaving any sort of comfort zone in life, big or small is always rough. I am a strong believer that you have to not only go out of your comfort zone for growth, but struggling is also important. One of my favorite quotes is “Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations by Zig Ziglar. So no, this road to finding my passion has not been smooth or the least bit easy. I have had days I couldn’t afford food, travels that went terribly wrong or under-planned, auditions where I have frozen and forgot the lines, sickness, cameras broken while hiking, flight tickets missed or canceled, I have been scammed for a lot of money, lots and lots of money lost, the list goes on. I have got my phone stolen 2 times while in Europe but it has taught me to not be attached to materialistic things, but to also be even more careful and aware of your surroundings. The bad makes you truly appreciate the good, just like the most challenging hikes offer the most rewarding views. The more you travel, the more you experience, the more you learn and grow; forever thankful for every single struggle, I learned the hard way.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about @ParisVerra – what should we know?
My business is myself. Through Instagram (@parisverra) I am able to make money, create and I hope to inspire, promote things I love and places I love. I take my own photos and content entirely. I want to continue to share these experiences to influence people to open their eyes and experience life. I want people to face their fears and do things they wouldn’t normally do. My brand is freedom; with freedom comes happiness. All the money I make I put back into my travels, acting classes, and towards starting my own business. I am setting goals to open my own Airbnb’s around the world designed ecofriendly & completely styled by me. Also I plan to create my own clothing line of my own designs. I will continue to spend the high- season of acting in Los Angeles and travel the rest of the months of the year. I want to do more than just work, take photos, book roles in television, or just travel. For me, it’s not about the money, it’s about happiness and sharing this with a world where the social norm is working miserably to survive for 1 vacation a year. I believe this is what sets me apart from others. Spend money on experiences instead of things. I live a very simple life; a few dresses, my passport and my camera is all I need. I stress the fact that you do not have to be rich to travel, I actually spend more money when I am in Los Angeles than when I am in Bali. “Stop and smell the roses” is words I live by. Take time out of your busy life, and stop and appreciate, enjoy the beauty in life, little or small. Look at the world with greater appreciation.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Actually everyone I have met deserves credit. Each and every follower, every other creative that inspired me to get out and travel from the beginning, every person that has criticized or rejected me, every person that believed and saw my vision, every friend I have made has played a part in my life. My mother is the first person to open my eyes to a new country in the world and unconditionally supports all my dreams; I swear she could be my twin lol. Christopher James is an extremely talented photographer I met and modeled for in Los Angeles; we became good friends and he taught me all the basics of Lightroom and Photoshop; from there I have been able to teach myself everything. I am forever grateful for every beautiful soul in my life.

Contact Info:

  • Address: Los Angeles, CA
  • Website:
  • Email:
  • Instagram: @parisverra

Image Credit:
Elephant, Waterfall, BlackSand- Credit: Zach Allia
Group of Girls- Credit: Andre Nguyen
Falling Photo of me on Cliff- Credit: Christopher James
Cheetah Photo- Credit: Evan Paterakis
Road Map Walking Photo- Credit: Cody Duncan
2 Girls Waterfall- Credit: Quin (@everchanginghorzion)

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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