After years of traveling 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 traveling 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 about what it would be like to actually live there instead of camping for a night,” he told Insider.
In 2021, while still living full-time in Amsterdam, he began looking for remote properties in mountain regions, starting in Spain before looking for opportunities in Italy.
After spending four weeks touring the Italian Alps in his campervan, looking at advertised areas, he discovered the piece of land he wanted to make his home: almost five acres of land in Piedmont, north-west Italy, which he says he owns had paid 21,000 euros ($21,600) for.
It came with two stone cottages that Doolaard wanted to turn into a homestead. Built in 1903, they looked more like barns or animal shelters at the time of filming.
“It’s very naked. It’s basically four walls and a leaking roof,” he said in the video, adding that there were no plumbing, toilets or electricity.
Doolaard, 38, 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 enabled him to fund his project but also motivated him and provided a community of support and advice as he undertakes the renovation.