Christian Schaffer is a famous YouTuber and an outdoor adventure and travel photographer.
She has more than 100 thousand subscribers on her YouTube channel by the name, Christian Schaffer.
Christian Schaffer was born on 7 May 1986 in Jonesboro, Arkansas, United States.
Her mother, Shaun M. Schaffer works as a massage therapist and a travel agent.
As Christian was born to a teenage mother, she and her mother lived with Christian’s grandparents until she turned six.
Christian has a brother, Joshua Genal.
Living in a car-
After Christian turned six, she and her mother lived in a car for a while.
Later they ended up in Wisconsin and here they used to live in a basement.
Christian’s mother used to sell books door to door to make a living and as they were poor, they survived on food stamps.
Christian did her schooling from Oshkosh North High School in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
Then, she joined the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and in her first year at college, she decided to move to a new place and so, in 2004, she moved to University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.
Christian paid on her own for her education and here, she studied for a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in marketing and she also studied for a minor in Spanish.
She graduated in 2007.
Then, in May 2011, Christian joined International House World Organisation (IHWO) in Milan, Italy to study Italian Language and Literature and in July 2011, she shifted to the IHWO in London.
She graduated in November 2011.
Working since a young age-
Christian’s mother inspired her to have a strong work ethic and work hard and study well.
Prior to joining university, she worked in numerous jobs like she initially worked at Culver’s burger joint at Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
Then, Christian worked at Pick ‘n Save and a produce department and at a shoe store of Famous Footwear.
She also worked as a pool waitress at a country club.
After working at all these places, Christian joined to study at a university.
While studying at University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, in August 2004, Christian started working as a model for Abercrombie & Fitch in Honolulu, Hawaii.
She also started working as a waitress and she worked as a waitress in five different restaurants.
Modelling was very lucrative for Christian and it paid most of her bills and as a model she worked with magazines.
She was also a runaway model and she hosted events for brands like Rolex and Harry Winston, Inc. She also did a few hosting jobs through Craigslist gigs.
Christian also worked as a retail manager at Puma and Starbucks.
She climbed up the corporate ladder in Abercrombie & Fitch and she became an Assistant Manager and later, a Store Manager.
Then, in 2011, Christian became an International General Manager at Abercrombie & Fitch and worked in Naples, Italy and London until 2013.
Disdain for corporate career-
Even though her corporate life at Abercrombie & Fitch was great, in 2013, at the age of 27, Christian realised that the corporate life doesn’t suit her.
When her contract ended in 2013, she backpacked and travelled around the world for eleven months with her savings and visited 19 countries in five continents.
During this time, Christian fell in love with photography.
Then, she moved to Monterey, California.
Christian secured a gig as an assistant through Craigslist and she started working as an assistant for a local painter-cum-photographer.
Looking for inspiration to start your travel?
‘To Shake the Sleeping Self’ is the best book for travel inspiration.
Starting her photography career-
The painter-cum-photographer helped Christian to build her clientele list and she built a clientele list of around twelve people and started working for them.
During that time, she fell in love with the Big Sur region in California and started exploring the region and photographing it.
Christian started building her photography portfolio and started posting her photos on Instagram.
Soon, she received a collaboration offer from Samsung for the promotion of Galaxy S6 and this started her photography career.
Jimmy Chin and Chris Burkard inspired Christian in photography.
A freelance photographer-
After realising that a freelance photography career combined with social media could be very lucrative, Christian started seriously working on building this career.
Since 2014, she has been working as a freelance photographer and she has worked with numerous reputable brands like Land Rover, Canon, Mazda, HSBC, etc.
Christian also worked with many tourism boards.
Working on her YouTube channel-
Even though Christian started her YouTube channel by name, Christian Schaffer on 7 March 2014, she started working seriously on it only from 2020.
She is a successful YouTuber and as of May 2022, she has 187K subscribers on her YouTube channel and 290K followers on Instagram.
Christian also has a website.
Living full-time on the road-
Since May 2018, Christian is living full-time on the road and she is managing her freelance and YouTube businesses on the wheels.
Initially, she started living in a 2008 Nissan XTerra SUV and she made the decision to live in it when she had $30,000 in the bank.
But just after four months, Christian totaled her SUV and so she bought a brand new 2019 Ram ProMaster 1500 High Roof which she converted.
Everything in this van is solar powered.
Christian has RV insurance and also insurance for her cameras, lenses and laptop.
In one of her videos, she stated that for her living in the van is less expensive than living in an apartment and she lives below her means.
Christian loves camping, hiking and being in nature and living in a van brings her closer to all of these.
Occasionally, she stays in hotels and Airbnb rentals.
Many earning sources-
Christian works by living full-time in her van and she has diversified and remote earning sources.
- She earns through sponsorship deals on Instagram and her YouTube channel.
- Christian earns through YouTube advertisements.
- She also earns through commercial photography and image licensing.
- Christian earns through modelling (she does this infrequently).
- As she is a landscape photographer, she has a print shop and earns through print sales.
- Christian earns through affiliate marketing, that is, promoting products through her affiliate links.
In one of her videos, she stated that she is earning far more by living and working in a van than that in her previous corporate career.
Christian’s future plan is to travel extensively across the globe and then return to the United States and settle in the United States by buying land and building a home.
She is a polyglot as she knows English, Italian and Spanish.
So, how are you inspired by the success story of Christian Schaffer?
Share with me in the comment section below.