Martijn Doolaard is a famous YouTuber and author.

He has more than 400 thousand subscribers on his YouTube channel by the name, Martijn Doolaard.

Martijn is also a photographer, travel writer, freelance graphic designer and he was a cyclist.


Martijn Doolaard was born on 17 December 1983 in Netherlands.

He grew up in Southern Netherlands in his family’s nursery in a big garden.

Martijn’s father initially used to work as a landscaper and currently, he is a minister in a Dutch Protestant Church.

His mother was a caretaker and technical and financial manager of their house.

Martijn has three siblings, his oldest brother, Cees-Jan works as a carpenter, his second brother, Anne is a landscaper and his youngest brother, Siebren is a videographer and animator.

Education & career-

In 2003, Martijn joined De Eindhovense School to study Graphic Designing and he graduated in 2006.

He worked as a designer at various organisations namely, Volle-Kracht Grafisch Ontwerp, Brandnew in Weesp, Design Bridge in Singapore, QNY Creative in New York.

Later, Martijn started working as a freelance designer for various organisations namely, Design Bridge, VBAT and dBOD.

He is also the owner of DAMP Design and is also a musician.

Love for cycling-

As Martijn had always lived in cities working as a designer, he missed being in nature.

Also, he grew tired by watching the computer screens all day long as a part of his work and wanted to take a break from it and his monotonous work and immerse himself in a physical activity.

So, Martijn decided to cycle from Amsterdam to Singapore.

He specifically chose to ride on a bicycle because it was fast enough to take him to his destination as he was confident that he could easily ride 100 kilometres per day and it could also carry all his luggage and connect him with nature.

Also parking a bicycle is very easy and it could ride on almost all types of roads.

Cycling from Amsterdam to Singapore-

On 16 April 2015, Martijn began his solo cycling journey in Amsterdam, Netherlands and started travelling eastwards.

He rode a Surly Long Haul Trucker bike and it took him a year to reach Singapore and, in this journey, he traversed through 18 countries and travelled more than 17,000 kilometres.

Martijn was fully independent in this journey as he had a tent, a sleeping bag and all the other required things.

During this trip, he camped in very remote places and led a minimalist life.

An interesting fact- Lorenzo Barone, a very popular cyclist also cycled a Surly Long Haul Trucker bike.

One Year on a Bike-

Initially, as Martijn was more into videography, he wanted to make a movie about his journey.

But as he had many photos of the journey and as he had also written a daily diary, he compiled them and wrote a book after he finished his journey and returned to Amsterdam.

Martijn titled this book as One Year on a Bike: From Amsterdam to Singapore and published it on 25 March 2017.

Planning for the second adventure-

After finishing his cycling journey, Martijn returned to the monotonous city life.

But a year later, he got tired of it and once again decided to do a long cycling journey.

But this time around, Martijn planned to work on a freelance basis during his journey and so he decided to carry his laptop and hard disks.

From Vancouver to Patagonia-

Martijn moved to Vancouver, Canada and purchased a new bike, a Surly ECR 29+ and all the other gear required for the trip.

His plan was to travel from Vancouver all the way up to Patagonia in South America.

So, Martijn started bikepacking in June 2017 in Vancouver and he would take breaks in between his travels whenever he had freelance work to do.

As the Surly ECR 29+ bikes are discontinued, in one of his videos, he recommended to choose Surly Ogre bikes as these are very similar to the Surly ECR 29+.

Two Years on a Bike-

Martijn published his second book titled Two Years on a Bike: From Vancouver to Patagonia on 9 November 2021 based on his cycling journey from Vancouver to Patagonia.

This book is available in English, German and French.

Inspired to live off-the-grid-

On his journey from Vancouver to Patagonia, Martijn travelled through the British Columbia Highway 101 and here, in the Redwood Forest he met an old couple, Kent and his wife.

This couple was living deep in the forest for more than 35 years independently and this inspired him to live off-the-grid.

Also, Martijn used to camp outdoors a lot and this along with his love for nature inspired him to live off-the-grid.

Settling in the Italian Alps-

Martijn first visited the Italian Alps on his bike and was mesmerised by its beauty and so, he quit travel and bought about six acres of land in the Alps and settled here and started living here full-time.

He purchased two historic stone cabins on top of a hill in the Alps and as of May 2022, he is renovating them.

Martijn also owns a meadow near the hill and he also owns an apartment in Amsterdam which he bought when he was 27.

He loves the silence and being alone in the lap of nature in the Alps.

Martijn relies on a small solar setup for all his electricity needs.

Prior to settling in the Alps, he travelled and lived in a Land Rover vehicle for a while.

Learning through YouTube-

Martijn learnt the required skills like carpentry, plumbing, etc. by watching multiple videos on YouTube and applying those teachings in his real-life.

He also learns a lot through the comment section under his videos and he also calls up his carpenter brother for clarifications.

Martijn uses the SketchUp program for drawing the houses and he learnt using this program by watching YouTube videos.

He also learns by Googling and reading.

Working on his YouTube channel-

Even though Martijn started his YouTube channel by the name, Martijn Doolaard on 22 January 2011, he started working consistently on it only from 2021.

As of December 2022, he has 423K subscribers on his YouTube channel and 67.5K followers on Instagram.

Martijn also has a website and a blog.

He uses a simple setup for shooting his videos, he sets up his DSLR camera, a Sony α7 III on a tripod and starts shooting.

Martijn also uses a DJI Air 2S drone.

He used this drone and a Sony α7S II camera for shooting his bike journeys.

Martijn works as a freelance graphic designer and manages his YouTube channel on the side.

Future plan-

Martijn’s future plan after renovating his cabins in the Alps is to do farming, grow vegetables and have some animals.

So, how are you inspired by the success story of Martijn Doolaard?

Share with me in the comment section below.

Looking for inspiration to start your travel?
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Naveen Reddy

Hello folks, I'm Naveen Reddy. I love writing the inspiring success stories of people so as to inspire you and help you become successful in life. Sometimes, I also write the success stories of brands. Enjoy the well-researched articles!!!


Tommy · March 13, 2023 at 1:29 AM

Martijn is my kindred spirit. I live in NYC and bought land in Upstate NY, building an off-grid cabin in the Catskill mountains and yearning for that freedom. His narration is perfect, tone of voice soothing and humble spirit uplifting.

BARB WARD · February 21, 2023 at 9:35 PM

I am an 87 year old woman who, for some reason, was attracted to a “YouTube” video on your Italian alps project. I am so enjoying each of your videos!
I think I am so intrigued by you and what you are and what you have done because of my oldest son. He is like you in so many ways; I am so amazed by what both of you are able to master without formal training.
You both just access the resources you have available and use your brain to make your dreams happen. You are very hard workers and have many interests…especially in nature.
Thank you for the entertainment!!!

    Naveen Reddy · February 22, 2023 at 10:53 AM

    Thanks a lot Barb, for your kind words!
    I wish all the best for your son!

Robb · February 21, 2023 at 10:25 AM

This was so interesting and was perfect since I just finished watching Martijn’s 3 hour video living in the Alps. I thought who is this guy? He can do anything. And then I read your article and found out. Very good.

Yvonne · February 21, 2023 at 7:33 AM

Thank you Naveen, I found the article very interesting x

    Naveen Reddy · February 21, 2023 at 9:59 AM

    You are welcome, Yvonne, thanks for your kind words!

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