He lived in Amsterdam, worked as a graphic designer behind a desk and really wanted to become more connected to nature. Martin initially fulfilled this desire by cycling around the world, from Amsterdam to Hong Kong and from Vancouver to Patagonia. He documented his travels in a book and with pictures. Then I thought: What then“?,” he tells RTL News.
One thing was certain: he was done with living in the city and was longing for a big project. That project came in the form of two stone houses in the Italian Alps, which he bought for 21 thousand euros.
Two years in a tent
If you think Martin is living the high life in the Italian Alps, know that he’s been sleeping in a tent for two years. A large, well-equipped tent, but a tent nonetheless. He hopes to be able to move into a house within two months, but “it takes a lot of work.”
However, Martin is very satisfied with the way he lives now. He set up an entire camp, including an “outdoor kitchen” and a place where he could shower. “The view is amazing,” he says. “You are simply one with nature, more connected. Now when I step out of my tent, I see the change every morning.” For example, with the arrival of October, the leaves change color.
Martijn depicts the home renovation process in a relaxed, cinematic way. “On the one hand, it’s about renovating homes, and on the other hand, it’s much more than that. It’s also gardening and doing all kinds of things outside,” he explains. In the videos, everything happens at a slow, realistic pace.
What makes videos such a success with 600k followers? “I read that it has a calming effect on people, because it’s slow. You really get into nature, without music underneath. It’s very enjoyable.” Grounding“A little distraction.” His videos appear online every week at a specific time, so that people are “really interested in them.” “It’s a normal thing for a lot of people to watch on Sunday evenings.”
Martijn has no history of renovating, but he loves making things and loves working with his hands. “I regularly have to pick up my phone to Google things,” he says. “It’s a great thing in these times: everything is online. You can only educate yourself if you have that discipline.”
Sometimes Martin also gets help from others. “There are jobs you can’t do alone,” he says. “Putting new beams on the roof, for example, is not possible on your own.” Fortunately, thanks to his large number of followers, he is always available to help. “I get emails almost every day from people asking if they can come. Even in the middle of winter when there are snow storms, there are people looking forward to it.”
When Martin was just starting out in the Alps, the Internet wasn’t very good yet. He then had to walk up the hill to use the range from the valley, and now that’s worked out and he has “faster internet than Amsterdam”. “This is also essential for these videos.”
What he loves about the videos is the community he creates with them. “Sometimes people write entire stories based on a video. Then they respond to something, or remember the past. That’s a very beautiful thing to read,” he says. “If I don’t shoot it, it’s just for me. Sharing it with the community is valuable.”
You can watch the final episode No. 86 here:
“Unable to type with boxing gloves on. Freelance organizer. Avid analyst. Friendly troublemaker. Bacon junkie.”