Noraly is a famous travel YouTuber.
She has more than 1.5 million subscribers on her YouTube channel by the name Itchy Boots.
Noraly Schoenmaker was born on 30 June 1987 in the Netherlands.
She hails from Nieuwerkerk, Netherlands and grew up in the Netherlands.
Noraly has a brother.
She wanted to grow up to become a writer.
Wanderlust from a young age-
As a teenager, Noraly used to travel solo by roller skates for around 20 kilometres.
Also, she used to travel by her bicycle through grasslands.
Noraly did her schooling from Calvijn College Rotterdam.
After finishing her schooling in 2005, she joined Utrecht University in Utrecht, Netherlands to study for a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Biogeology and she graduated in 2008.
Then, Noraly studied for a Master of Science (MSc) in System Earth Modeling and graduated in 2010 with honours from the same university.
Dropping out of PhD to travel the world-
After completing her MSc, Noraly started studying for a PhD from Utrecht University.
As a part of her PhD, she went to Australia to collect rocks and stayed in the outback for a couple of weeks and shipped the rocks back to the Netherlands.
And then, Noraly decided to travel for three months and later resume her PhD.
So, she travelled across Australia, New Zealand and India.
After a month of staying in India, Noraly decided to drop out of her PhD and keep on travelling the world.
Backpacking across Asia-
After deciding not to continue her PhD, Noraly travelled in India for a bit longer and then backpacked across Asia.
During that time, she stayed in hostels and used public transport like buses and trains to travel.
Working as a waitress-
While travelling in Indonesia, Noraly ran out of money and was only left with €100 and with it she booked a ticket to Australia.
She started working as a waitress in Perth, Australia and at that time, her plan was to resume her travel after earning enough money.
Later, in February 2011, Noraly secured a job as a Graduate Exploration Geologist at Breakaway Resources in Perth and started doing gold exploration in Cloncurry, Queensland.
Quitting her job to travel-
After working for seven months, in August 2011, Noraly quit her job and started backpacking.
She travelled through Asia, Mexico, Central America, South America and East Africa.
Noraly travelled all these regions for a couple of years and then, she was broke again.
Then, she returned to her home country, Netherlands.
At that time, Noraly didn’t have money and house and was jobless and she slept on her friend’s couch for a few weeks.
Working as a geologist-
Luckily, within a few weeks, in January 2013, Noraly secured a job of an Engineering Geologist at Van Oord.
Here, as a part of her work, she worked in various countries like The Bahamas, Jamaica, Kuwait, Australia, Morocco, United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Indonesia and Dubai.
Initially, Noraly travelled even during her leaves and travelled to places like Greenland, Russia (she travelled in the Trans-Siberian Express), Mongolia and Europe.
An interesting fact- Eva zu Beck, a popular female travel YouTuber also travelled in the Trans-Siberian Express.
In 2015, Noraly was promoted to the position of Project Superintendent and while in this position she worked in Kazakhstan, Uruguay and Brazil.
After working for around five years at Van Oord, Noraly quit her job in July 2018 to travel full-time.
She booked a one-way flight ticket to India and started backpacking in India.
Later, Noraly rented a Royal Enfield motorcycle in Manali, India and rode it for three weeks through mountains and got addicted to motorcycle touring.
So, she purchased a Royal Enfield Himalayan motorcycle in Delhi and named it as Basanti.
Later, Noraly rode this motorcycle to Malaysia, Iran, Central Asia, Russia, Caucasus, Balkans and finally to the Netherlands.
This 36,000 kilometre trip lasted for eight months and she traversed through 25 countries.
Then Noraly journeyed across Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru.
Then, she travelled across Iceland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway and then, across South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe.
At the end of 2022, she travelled in Canada and then rode in the United States.
Also read- Inspiring Success Story of Royal Enfield
Her first motorcycle-
Around 2011, while travelling in El Salvador, Noraly rode a dirt bike of an acquaintance.
This was her first experience of riding a bike.
Noraly’s brother has been an avid biker and this passion later rubbed off onto her and so, she purchased a second-hand Ducati Monster 796 motorcycle the same day she received her license in 2015.
She loved riding her Ducati motorcycle.
But after quitting her job in 2018, Noraly sold this motorcycle along with her house to travel full-time.
Later she purchased many motorcycles like a couple of Royal Enfield Himalayans, Honda CB500X (she bought this as a second-hand), Honda CRF250L and Honda CRF300L Rally.
Blogging & YouTubing-
After becoming a full-time traveller in 2018, Noraly started her blog, Itchy Boots to make a living and she started blogging about her travelling experiences.
She named her blog Itchy Boots after being inspired by the phrase, having itchy feet (the meaning of this phrase is having a strong desire to travel).
Upon riding a motorcycle in India, Noraly realised that she could better capture her travels with videos.
So, she brought a GoPro camera and on 21 November 2018, she started her YouTube channel by name, Itchy Boots.
Currently, Noraly focuses more on her YouTube channel rather than her blog.
While travelling, she edits her videos on her MacBook Pro with the Final Cut Pro and uses SSDs to store her videos.
Becoming popular & successful-
As of February 2023, Noraly has 1.53M subscribers on her Itchy Boots YouTube channel, 318K followers on Instagram and 190k followers on her Facebook page.
She earns mainly through the ads on her YouTube channel and this funds her travels.
Noraly also sells merchandise and runs Itchy Boots Academy and membership program.
She is also an ambassador for Rev’it!, a motorcycle clothing brand.
Some interesting facts about Noraly-
- Noraly’s favourite countries are Iran and Argentina.
- She likes the Andes Mountain range in South America, the Pamir Highway in Central Asia and she also likes Southern Africa.
- In 2021, Noraly rode through the desert in South Africa for the Kalahari Rally.
- She donated her Honda CRF250L motorcycle to a private motorcycle museum in Knysna, South Africa.
- Noraly is a polyglot as she knows English, Dutch, German, Portuguese and Spanish.
- She nicknamed her motorcycles as Basanti, Dhanno, Ronin, Savannah and Alaska and rode them for more than 110 thousand kilometres solo around the world.
- Noraly is a fan of Lyndon Poskitt.
So, how are you inspired by the success story of Noraly Schoenmaker?
Share with me in the comment section below.
Also read- Inspiring Biography of Kinga Tanajewska (onherbike)
Looking for inspiration to start your travel?
To Shake the Sleeping Self is the best book for travel inspiration.
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David Kannas · May 22, 2023 at 3:47 AM
Noraly is a true world ambassador. I look forward to next thoughtful journey as she meets and explains new people she comes in contact with. She is a true modern day explorer in the best sense.
Naveen Reddy · May 22, 2023 at 11:28 AM
Hi David, thanks for sharing your thoughts!
Rosemary · April 20, 2023 at 10:57 PM
I just love your videos. It’s great to see so many different landscapes up close. So and Namibia were great because I had driven many of your routes. Thanks for sharing your passion. Rosemary.
Naveen Reddy · April 21, 2023 at 1:04 PM
Hi Rosemary, thanks for your valuable comment, yes, Noraly’s videos are great!
Elena Gilbert · August 12, 2022 at 6:13 AM
Noraly Schoenmaker is an inspiring young woman who has overcome many obstacles in her life. She is a motivational speaker. I think everyone should read her story and learn from her experiences.
Dennis D Parsons · July 1, 2022 at 6:31 AM
Thanks for the info. I have been a fan for a while but still learned a lot.
Naveen Reddy · July 1, 2022 at 8:54 AM
Great to know Dennis!