After years of traveling around the world, graphic designer Martijn Doolaard decided to find a secluded place to call home.
Fifteen years ago Martijn Doolaard was working full time as a graphic designer in Amsterdam, but he wanted more adventure in his life so he started travel around the world on his bike and documenting it on YouTube.
After spending many nights camping in beautiful landscapes, he wondered how he could make such a place his home. “I was thinking, what would it be like to live there instead of camping overnight,” he told Insider.
In 2021, while still living full-time in Amsterdam, he began looking for secluded properties in the mountainous regions, starting in Spain before exploring options in Italy.
After four weeks of traveling through the Italian Alps in his camper van in search of advertised areas, he discovered the land he decided to make his home: just under six acres of land in Piedmont, north -western Italy, which he said he paid €21,000. ($21,600) for.
It was accompanied by two stone cabins that Doolaard planned to turn into a farm. Built in 1903, he said they looked more like barns or animal shelters at the time of filming.
“It’s very simple. It’s basically four walls and a leaky roof,” he said in the video, adding that there were no plumbing, toilets or electricity.
Now 38, Doolaard has been posting videos of his renovation for a year, and his channel has grown from a few hundred subscribers to more than 400,000. His platform on YouTube has not only allowed him to finance his project, but also to keep him motivated and provide him with a community of support and guidance as he undertakes the renovation.