After years of traveling the world, graphic designer Martijn Doolaard decided to find a remote location to call home.
Fifteen years ago Martijn Doolaard worked full-time as a graphic designer in Amsterdam, but he wanted more adventure in his life so he began traveling around the world on his bicycle, documenting it on YouTube.
After spending many nights camping in beautiful landscapes, he wondered how he could make a place like his home. “I was thinking, how would it be to actually live there instead of one-night camping,” he told Insider.
In 2021, while still living full-time in Amsterdam, he began looking at remote properties in mountainous regions, starting in Spain before exploring options in Italy.
After four weeks of traveling through the Italian Alps in his campervan looking at advertised areas, he discovered the piece of land which he decided to make his home: just under six acres of land in Piemont, Northwest Italy, which he said he paid €21,000. ($21,600) for.
It came with two stone cabins which Doolaard planned to turn into a homestead. Built in 1903, he said they looked more like barns or animal shelters at the time of filming.
“It’s very bare bones. It’s basically four walls and a leaking roof,” he said in the video, adding there was 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 over 400,000. His platform on YouTube has not only allowed him to fund his project, but also kept him motivated and provided a community of support and advice as he undertakes the renovation.