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  • Writer's pictureSimone Fougère

on the road with KenX

Updated: Apr 19


girl standing at front of motorhome looking out to ocean

KenX has been our rock for the past six years. when we left ibiza at the end of 2016, we came to new zealand. my family lived here, and i spent half of my childhood here, so it was the obvious place to have a temporary base whilst we searched for our new home in the world. we couldn't stay with my family the whole time, plus we wanted to travel and be in nature in the summertime, and airbnb was adding up, so a home on wheels was the perfect option for us.


giulio found him on trademe (new zealand's 'ebay' site) and we flew to nelson (at the top of the south island) to check him out. it was love at first sight for giulio...for me, it was the opposite. i actually burst into tears. he was dark (due to the wood stain), old and smelt bad (we discovered later it was mentholated spirits used to clean the windows). i actually wanted to throw up. we went for lunch to make the decision, but it was already made. as much as i felt a no, i trusted giulio's sense, and that night we already had our first night in KenX, the perfect man cave.



he hopped out of nelson and barely made it up the gigantic hill towards picton, the ferry destination, but somehow we arrived in wellington, gave him a little touch of our love, enjoyed some nature and cantered (at a maximum speed of 80km/hr) up the north island to land at splore festival, where we celebrated having our own little home at a festival !

ice cold river dip !

proud parent

fluff for seats of course !

there was nothing new about him, the fridge broke whilst we were at the festival, the second hand toilet smelt, and i think the gas ran out too, but we enjoyed ourselves none the less.



we also got stuck in the mud when we tried to leave !



thankfully, good old kiwi ingenuity means there's always a plan nearby to pull you out :)


our love affair with KenX had begun

and, he was starting to grow on me somewhat (i still detested the dark interior though and felt a bit cramped)


the best thing though, was we had found our freedom, which was our main intention in life (and solving 'the game'). everytime we were in new zealand (amidst buzzing back and forth to europe and ibiza (of course)....the road was now ours to explore and discover off the beaten track beauty to dissolve into







and i was learning to move more slowly, and found cosyiness in his littleness !


we finally made it back to auckland and found two wonderful souls, vladamir, our russian diesel engine mechanic (via giulio's first water in the diesel tank incident), and peter, our guy to give KenX an inner facelift.


oops ! after we became seasoned professionals at doing this, we discovered a drive out service - to anywhere in new zealand...was a lifesaver at times !


then whilst we island shopped off to vanuatu, to explore new home options there, peter managed to give us a new fridge, new oven, new toilet, new water heater, 2x solar panels, an inverter (so we could use 240v anywhere), a diesel heater, new lighting and new roof vents !


a little splash of yellow paint and KenX was also getting brighter !

and now going to the toilet at a festival never felt so luxurious !

cellophane goes a long way to dampen hideous LED !


peter even designed us a table that could fold all directions so we could keep giulio's bed made up full-time :0)


we of course covered it in red sticker !


a fluff or two, some new op shop curtains, colourful pillows and clothes, always made KenX feel like the cosiest place on earth



and so, as i learned to move more slowly in life, KenX became our tiny home on wheels that was full of space and life


feijoas from a neighbour !


he was our home when we visited new zealand each summer and a place to stay near my sister nicole, rich, gisele and jacques



and he took us to all the most magical places we could find













usual view out the back !


throwing our canufeelit crystals at the very top of new zealand (we deposited them all over the world, even in the vatican!)



and then we thought he deserved a brand new awning


because really, KenX was our safe little haven anytime, anywhere :)




a lot of fun we had


dancing everywhere we went

playing with kawa kawa leaves

catching ferries

scampering in waves

dowsing our way through the reality

we used old records for decoration - and to 'escort' flies out of KenX (trickery situation once you have flyscreens and a door screen to get them out if they get in!)

he was also a faithful party voyager


and then in 2019 energeeeejay joined us ! she loved to jiggle when we went off-road. NRGJ was a gift from nicole, rich, gisele and jacques !

....and she took us to our new home (unbeknownst to us at the time)...great barrier island


our first impressions

waaaaaowwwwwww

medlands beach

awana beach


hiking up mountains


360 degree view of the island

pure magic

foraged cockles

cute little campsites


...after we left the island we decided to finally gave him some colourful clothing to wear whilst we went back to europe for the winter...




some later homemade editions of makeover

he was our happy camper at many a shipwrecked festival !


when we returned from europe in late 2019 we took him home (again, unbeknownst to us even the second time round to great barrier island), where we finally realised we found our home...


overlooking the most beautiful beach you can imagine...that we somehow missed in our first trip ! kaitoke...

SOUL thing !


but KenX was not to stay with us on great barrier island, for we took him back and forth for festivals and then he sat patiently waiting for us at north shore airport


providing us with a bed and a car whenever we needed it on the mainland....


lately however we realised it wasn't fair on him though, waiting for us (one time for an entire year!)


....so this summer (that late starting one) we decided on one last trip for us together, before bringing him back to the island to share with visitors...and what a beautiful trip it was.....



a quick foray at earthbeat festival (surprised us both, as we thought it might be anew agey for us 🤣 ~ it was, of course....but for the one day we went we had a lot of friends playing our favourite music, so dancing barefeet all afternoon it was ! perfecto !


Arokx played a top notch set ! as did you friend Dale Rohan (with only one deck!!) ....and Herman Saiz and Felipe Martinez !




and then it was on to exploring our favourite far north beauty and catching up with friends along the way





hiking coastlines

sublimely gorgeous

....but mid-tripping around (somewhere between sourdough hot cross bun making and kawahai fishing) we realised it was a much better idea to hand him over to someone new, to enjoy him more regularly, just as much as we did !



so we searched deeply and decided to let him go...and carried on our journey of fun.


even managed a spot of surfing !

with my new lovely friend Kaytee - who coached me back into the waves after i had developed a fear following a near drowning incident (my wetsuit had been too small, i couldn't breathe, and it filled up with water!) ~ thank you Kaytee, you really made my trip !

and thank you to both Andre & Kaytee for letting us park up at theirs. super super super to hang out !


and so sadly....the last days had arrived, as we needed to leave KenX somewhere for a little tlc before his test..we found our way to a remote beach for a couple of nights...

what a wonderful last journey...

and then a kind friend came and picked us up so we could make our way home another way....thank you SO much arnim....you really were OUR SAVIOUR !!!!

with all of our stuff ! (who would have thought ?)


what a journey, what fun, thank you KENX - we love you and appreciate everything you gave us ! and we actually miss you too...


x sim and giulio


ps. if you're interested to be his new owner do reach out to us, he should be ready to rock by the end of April 2023


pps. ...if you're wondering how we came up with his name....it was a combo of Kenneth (our first trial hire motorhome) ....and....



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