There’s no shortage of lifestyle bloggers travelling the world, sharing their wanderlust-inducing pictures on Instagram to hoards of followers.
But few of them have the knowledge of the globe that a pilot does — and a view from the cockpit.
Known as @pilotmadeleine on Instagram, Madeleine Schneider-Weiffenbach calls herself a “blogger & globetrotter” — and she also happens to be a trained pilot on the hunt for a job.
Until the perfect role crops up, her 760,000 followers watch as she travels the world — usually with her boyfriend, who also has a big following — sharing stunning snaps of destinations like Santorini and the Taj Mahal.
Meanwhile, she also writes a lifestyle blog where she shares her tips on travel, fitness, fashion, recipes, and even has an online shop where she sells her own book about “clean and creative cooking.”
Scroll down to meet the German pilot who has become an Instagram sensation.
Meet Madeleine Schneider-Weiffenbach, the Instagram-famous lifestyle blogger who is also trained as a pilot.
“I’ve always been into aviation and wanted to become a pilot since I was 12 years old,” she told The Daily Mail. “Aviation runs in my family and two of my cousins are pilots.”
She gained her Commercial Pilot License a few years ago, but has since struggled to find the perfect pilot job. Instead, she has focused on lifestyle blogging, travelling the world, and occasionally flying privately.
She told The Daily Mail: “I was soon able to live off it so I decided to pursue travel blogging instead of working for a low-cost airline.”
“I have absolutely nothing against that but I was just lucky to have another option.”
She initially signed up on Instagram as @pilotmadeleine because she wants a platform where she could connect to other pilots, but she started sharing pictures of her private life.
In a blog post in 2016, she said: “Because aviation is quite a small world and not everyone is interested in a full pilot account I didn’t have many followers back then. After a short time I started sharing more of my private life: Fitness pictures, healthy recipes and travel pictures. Especially the fitness pictures and healthy recipes became so popular that I started to gain followers quite quickly.”
So, how does she do it? She wrote on her blog that she has “always worked really hard” in order to afford her lifestyle.
“When I was only 13 years old I started working as a babystitter,” she wrote. “Later I worked three times a week in a bakery. I had to be at work there at 5 a.m. Hence, I could never go out. Or when I did I had to go from the club straight to work. However, by not going out very often and working a lot I’ve always been able to save quite a high amount of money. Some of which I then spend on flights etc. Because my big passion has always been traveling!”
She added that while some people save their money for “an expensive Chanel bag or Louboutin shoes” she has always saved for travelling.
“I don’t put much attention to expensive designer clothes, I always buy my cosmetics in a drug store, I don’t own a car, my rent is quite cheap, I buy my groceries at Aldi,” she wrote. “Overall, I’m a super economical person.”
She also often gets invited to stay in hotels for free, or stays with her “many friends around the world” so she only had to pay for flights.
However, she said even then there’s “a lot of hard work behind it” because “the hotels wanna see nice pictures and videos.”
She’s an ambassador for KLM, the airline her cousin works for…
…which we can only assume means free or discounted flights, like this comfortable looking journey.
She also posts a number of “non paid sponsored posts” working with brands.
Her lifestyle allows her to visit some pretty incredible places. She’s currently in Santorini….
…where she enjoyed pizza for breakfast.
She has some many appealing looking breakfasts, like this one in Bali.
The view here is pretty special.
She does quite a lot of yoga along the way, as well.
She often travels with her boyfriend, Iqbal Gran, who also has over 14,000 followers.
Here, the pair celebrate Gran’s birthday in Ubud…
…and visit the Taj Mahal.
Schneider-Weiffenbach says her life is harder than it looks. Even when it looks like she’s on vacation, she’s often up until 3 a.m. writing blog posts and editing pictures and videos, then waking up early again “hopefully looking fresh in front of the camera.”
However, she said that she doesn’t deal with the “gender issues” in travel blogging that she experienced in aviation. “As a blonde girl it is not easy all the time as you are constantly underestimated by your flight instructor and colleague,” she told The Daily Mail.
Despite this, said that she would go “back into aviation any time” if “suitable pilot jobs become available,” and has written on her blog that Condor and Hawaiian Airlines are among her dream jobs.
“For me flying is the most amazing feeling in the entire world,” she wrote on her blog. “Nothing compares to flying yourself, to have so much power in your hand and to this incredible feeling of freedom throughout your entire body.”
She added: “For me being an airline pilot has been my dream since I’ve been a little child and it’s still my dream.”
“I hope to show my followers and readers how beautiful our world really is,” she told The Daily Mail. “There are so many stunning places and I want to visit all of them and of course share my experiences with my audience.”