Mariana Verrando is a 26-year-old influencer living life to the fullest. Passionate about photography, this Danish-born blogger has travelled all over Europe, sharing her travels on her website and Instagram account, @mvoyagerblog. Meet this Monaco citizen, ever proud of her roots, who never misses an opportunity to show off the Principality in her stories and travels.
It’s the story of one photo, the art of capturing a moment to keep it forever. From a young age, Mariana has enjoyed taking pictures of everything and anything. But on that day, more than four years ago, this one photo transformed Mariana’s life with a sudden and unexpected turn.
“It was the first time I had my face in one of my photos,” she recalls. “I was in Denmark, riding my bike through some wheat fields. It was an ordinary holiday picture that anyone could have taken, but it profoundly changed my life.” It was a life that was until then all traced out, from hotels and restaurants to tourism, the job she still does today.
“Being an influencer, it’s not my job. I do it above all out of passion”
“I’ve always loved writing and photography. I still remember my first big birthday present. It was a digital camera. I must have been nine years old. On holidays, my parents couldn’t stand me taking pictures of them all the time,” she laughs. “I think that’s why I started a blog and then an Instagram account.”
“At first, I only photographed landscapes, but it all grew to a scale I could never have imagined,” she admits, still visibly moved and surprised by all the excitement in her life, transferred almost every day from real life to the virtual one. “Brands ended up contacting me to let me try their products. I’ve been lucky enough to collaborate with some major French brands.”
But the proud influencer, who loves promoting the Principality internationally, does not make a living from this activity which is nevertheless lucrative for many influencers.
“It is not my job. I do it above all out of passion,” says Mariana, smiling, between sips of coffee, in a trendy café in Fontvieille. “It’s a hobby, without pay. I’ve got a job in tourism on the side, and I’m not planning to go into it full-time at the moment. It’s a mutually beneficial kind of thing. They send me products, I talk about them, good or bad, sometimes hotels invite me to stay. It’s very rewarding materially, but that’s all it is.”
Between Monaco and Denmark, a youth marked by photography
Supported by Rudy, her companion behind the lens, Mariana travels throughout Europe and discovers its hidden gems to connect to her community of more than 20,000 subscribers.
“It’s been a fulfilling adventure that has allowed me to meet people I would never have met in my day-to-day life. Hotel managers, great chefs, freelancers, make-up artists, famous directors,” she says. “It’s so engaging and captivating that I would find it hard to live without it now.”
From Stockholm to Paris, through Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Belgium, Mariana proudly wears the colours of Monaco through the different countries she travels.
“I am proud to represent my country,” she says. “Being a citizen of Monaco means a lot to me. There are so few of us that I always tell myself that I am very lucky. I’m not there every five minutes pulling out my passport, but one thing’s for sure, I wouldn’t trade my nationality for anything in the world.”
However, beyond her roots in Monaco, Mariana has also been influenced by Danish culture since she was born. Born to a Monegasque father and a mother from Jutland, in the west of Denmark, the influencer has spent a large part of her holidays in Scandinavia with her older sister, Regitze.
“I grew up with this double culture, far from the bling-bling side often associated with Monaco,” she explains. “In Denmark, my grandparents are farmers. As a child, I used to spend my holidays helping them feed the cows. Over there, you realise the true values of work.”
“There’s nothing more rewarding than the journey”
Even today, Mariana never misses an opportunity to visit the country that inspired her and that continues to bring her calm and serenity in a hectic life. “Although it is not always easy to balance my professional life with my life as an influencer, there is never a morning when I am not eager to wake up and get going. If I wake up one morning and think I don’t feel like it, maybe it’ll be time to stop.”
But with 10,000 unique visitors to her blog each month, Mariana doesn’t seem ready to stop writing for her followers. “I’m having an unforgettable experience. On a human level, it’s hard to describe. I don’t have the words. There’s nothing more rewarding than the journey.”
And to go even further, she hopes to go around the world soon. To one day turn her dreams into a profession?
Discover Mariana’s travel blog: mvoyagerblog