Max McFarlin is a popular food and travel YouTuber.
He has more than half a million subscribers on his eponymous YouTube channel.
Max McFarlin was born on 8 January 1993 and grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas, United States.
His father is a farmer and runs a factory.
Max has a couple of elder brothers, Mickey and Matt.
Love for food & shows-
Since a young age, Max loved food and at 4, he wanted to grow up to become a chef.
He grew up in a kitchen with his grandmother, Honey, and used to help her in cooking.
Once, Max received an Easy-Bake Oven as a Christmas present and he used to cook in it and during Halloween, he used to dress up as a chef.
At 13, he watched food and travel shows and got fascinated by them and wanted to grow up to produce such shows.
Much later, Max realised this dream by starting his eponymous YouTube channel and producing travel food shows.
He didn’t pursue his dream of becoming a chef because he believed that chefs work for very long hours and also work on holidays and don’t get paid well and are confined to the kitchen.
Also, at that time, the schools near Max focused only on French culinary whereas he was interested in Asian cuisine, so he dropped his idea of becoming a chef.
Remote & isolated–
Max grew up on his family’s remote farm in Arkansas.
His family owns 120 acres of farm and had around 70 cows and he used to work on this farm.
Max didn’t have any neighbours and until 18, he didn’t have access to the internet and until he turned 24, he didn’t travel much outside his farm.
Also, he studied from a small high school, the school was so small that he graduated with just 29 fellow students.
Love for Asia, especially Vietnam-
As a teenager, Max used to work in his father’s factory in summers and here, he met Tai, a Vietnamese man.
Tai was his father’s employee and Max used to work with him.
Even though Tai wasn’t able to speak English, Max was fascinated by him speaking Vietnamese and his method of working.
His family too was influenced by Tai, as they started eating rice for every meal after observing Tai consuming a lot of rice.
Max befriended Tai and used to invite him to his birthday parties and other celebrations.
Thanks to all these, he fell in love with Vietnam and wanted to travel there.
Max also fell in love with Asia and Asian cultures and used to watch Jackie Chan movies and anime and loved eating American Chinese buffet.
As a child, he was overweight and due to this, he was bullied.
Max studied pre-med at university and graduated in 2015.
Initially, he joined the University of Arkansas and then transferred to the University of Central Arkansas.
In December 2016, Max started working as a Model at The Sculp Agency LLC at Little Rock, Arkansas.
Prior to this, he worked in Whole Foods Market and in a few other jobs.
Depression & a desire to travel Asia-
While studying at university, Max grew depressed and downhearted and started feeling purposeless.
He started receiving therapy for depression.
At that time, Max was 24 and didn’t travel much beyond his farm and as he was suffering from depression, he decided to travel to New York for a change and to tour the International Culinary Center because he wanted to join a culinary school in New York.
In New York, he spent an entire week in Chinatown, and this intensified his desire to travel to Asia.
Previously, his plan was to study from a medical school or study from a culinary school but his trip to Chinatown changed his priorities.
Moving to Hong Kong-
As Max wanted to move to Asia, he applied for an English teacher job in Vietnam, Thailand, South Korea and Hong Kong.
In January 2018, he secured the job of an English teacher at Monkey Tree International Group in Hong Kong.
His job involved teaching kids and demanded long hours (often 12-hour workdays) and paid modestly.
Even though the apartments in Hong Kong were old and small, they were expensive.
In spite of all these, Max enjoyed living in Hong Kong as this gave him a chance to learn about Asia and its culture.
Quitting his job to become a full-time YouTuber-
On 21 November 2017, Max started his YouTube channel by the name My Kind of Eats, later renamed it to Max McFarlin.
He started his channel after working for three years and saving money.
On 6 April 2018, Max published the first video on his YouTube channel while still working as an English teacher.
His first video is titled ‘DELICIOUS congee at Fa Yuen cooked food market in HONG KONG!’.
At that time, he also had a blog by the name MyKindofEats.
In 2019, Max quit his teacher job and became a full-time YouTuber.
At that time, his YouTube channel wasn’t profitable, and he was surviving on his savings but was confident that sooner or later his channel would become profitable.
During that time, Max was living modestly and didn’t travel outside of Hong Kong in order to be frugal.
After shooting a few videos in Hong Kong, Max travelled to China and shot a few videos there.
Then, he moved to Vietnam and started living in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam.
In 2020, Max bought an apartment in Saigon.
He also travelled to Malaysia, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand, Nepal, Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Laos, Sri Lanka, India, Myanmar, United States, Peru, Pakistan, Turkey, etc. and produced videos there.
A successful YouTuber-
As of April 2023, he has 578K subscribers on his eponymous YouTube channel.
Max earns from a variety of sources like advertisements, Membership and ‘Super Thanks’ on his YouTube channel, sponsorships, affiliate marketing and from selling a ‘Vietnamese Street Food’ guide on Gumroad.
He uses Canon EOS Rebel T6i camera for shooting videos.
Max has a couple other YouTube channels namely, Daily Max and Maxy.
As of April 2023, he has 338K followers on his Facebook page and 42.3K followers on Instagram.
Max also has a website.
Research & people-
Max researches about dishes by reading articles and books, especially cookbooks.
He focuses on learning about ingredients, cooking methods, tastes, etc.
Max also researches good places to eat, history of dishes and their connection with people and culture.
He often interacts with locals selling dishes to learn their stories and dishes.
Max hasn’t revealed much of his personal life except that he has a girlfriend.
Some interesting facts about Max McFarlin-
- Max loves learning languages and is a polyglot as he knows Chinese, Japanese and English.
- He also tried to learn Cantonese but couldn’t.
- His astrological sign is Capricorn and his Chinese zodiac sign is monkey.
- Max loves eating spicy foods and loves mam tom (fermented shrimp paste).
So, how are you inspired by the success story of Max McFarlin?
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