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There and back again

 

281113Head

 

The idea for Nzo was hatched about 20 years ago when we spent a couple of years wandering around the northern hemisphere in a VW van.

Living in a prolonged roadtrip with a lot of time to sit around the campfire got us talking about the work we would do if we could do anything we liked and get away with it. The vague and far-off plan was to live somewhere near a forest, and have a studio at home where we design stuff. The stuff we would design would be things we would like to use to do the things we like to do, and that was about as sharp as the planning got.

It took a few years of the day jobs to confirm they were too much like day jobs, and a few more years of scheming before we decided to give Nzo a go. Many wrong turns later, we sit in a barn at the side of the house, and design stuff we like to use for the things we like to do. What we like to do hasn’t changed much, and road tripping is still near the top of the pile. Hanging a bike or two on the back of a va n and hitting the track is about as good as it gets.

We have a made a few deluxe modifications: the van is not an air-cooled rattler any more. The VW was a very reliable vehicle, but it would struggle to pull the skin off a rice pudding. The current edition has to pull a caravan.

We could probably still operate in the confines of a kombi, but as responsible campers (we have a sticker that says so) we have to cart a little bathroom along for the ride. And if you are going to have a bathroom, why not a kitchen? And a kitchen needs a fridge. And a waste water tank.

Amongst all these comforts we still think about that little orange Kombi. It carried us 50,000 kms from San Francisco to Central Turkey via many points in between, and the German couple we sold it to racked up a similar distance in their travels. Where it is now we have no idea, but this diagram shows the basic concept. We have stuck it on a red shirt to recognise the onset of the festive season, but you can change the shirt colour if you fancy.

Or ask us to put it on a hoodie.


Mendocino, CA, 1991
Mendocino, CA, 1991


Bavaria, 1992Bavaria, 1992