After years of traveling the world, graphic designer Martijn Doolaard decided to find a remote 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 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 a place like this his home. “I was thinking, what would it be like to live there instead of camping overnight?” she 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 the Italian Alps in his motorhome looking at advertised areas, he discovered the piece of land he decided to make his home: just under six acres of land in Piemont, northwestern Italy, which he said he paid €21,000 for. ($21,600) per.
It came with two stone cottages that Doolaard planned to turn into a farm. Built in 1903, he said they were more like barns or animal shelters at the time of filming.
“It’s very basic. It’s basically four walls and a leaky roof,” he said in the video, adding that there was no plumbing, toilets or electricity.
Now 38, Doolaard has been posting videos of her makeover for a year now and her channel has grown from a few hundred subscribers to over 400,000. His YouTube platform not only allowed him to finance his project, but also kept him motivated and provided a community of support and advice as he undertook the renovation.