About Us

Who We Are

We’re Brandon (37), Ashley (35), Gabriel (11), Isaiah (9), and Abel (8) – a family of five from Michigan.  

We’ve always loved the water. Brandon proposed with a ring on a fishing line. We were married on a boat at sea. Our honeymoon was spent catching mahi in the gulf stream.

Naturally, our kids were drawn to the water too – swimming, fishing, and catching turtles and bullfrogs in our backyard pond. Family vacations were spent salmon fishing in Northern Michigan, crabbing in North Carolina, or snorkeling in Puerto Rico.

We love traveling too. Exploring new places and meeting new people never gets old. But what truly drives us to travel is the food. All five of us are crazy about discovering new dishes and flavors. 

Why We Did It

Our kids were growing up too fast. We were working so hard to prepare for the future that life was just slipping by. We spent too much time on our phones and laptops. The kids were struggling in school and watching too much TV. Meals were rushed. Weekends were never long enough.

America was going crazy. People were forcing children to play sports games with masks on. A smartphone was required to go deer hunting. Genders were being treated as a lifestyle choice. Abortion was a woman’s right but disturbing a sea turtle egg would land you in prison. Public schools were contorting history and universities were indoctrinating students. Godly values were being purged from society.

It was time for a change. Time to stop chasing the American dream (i.e., careers, money, possessions, etc.) at the expense of our time together and our children’s wellbeing. We figured we could always make more money, but we’d never be able to turn back time. Why not do something extraordinary while we were still young enough to enjoy it and before our kids become preoccupied with teenage rituals like dating and driver’s training?

We knew we wanted to see as much of the world as possible and that we’d need to do it on a budget. It didn’t take long for us to realize that sailing was our best option.

How We Did It

While we’d spent quite a bit of time in power boats, we knew absolutely nothing about sailing. So, in May of 2021, we took a week-long, live-aboard sailing course and earned our ASA 101 and 103 certifications. Captain Jason of Myrtle Beach Sailing School did an awesome job making the experience fun for everyone, especially the kids. We were hooked.

Next, we started looking for the right boat. After just a couple months of searching, we found BAGIA – a 2020 Lagoon Catamaran located in Charleston, South Carolina. 

Then began the hardest part, selling nearly everything we owned. It wasn’t until then that we realized just how much unnecessary stuff we’d accumulated. We put our house up for sale, sold our vehicles, and had a huge garage sale. We left a few sentimental items with family members and forwarded our mail to TravelingMailbox.com, an awesome service that accepts, scans, and forwards your mail to anywhere in the world. 

Finally, we packed up our few remaining possessions (mostly tools, clothing, fishing gear, and homeschool curricula) and moved aboard. 

We may have oversimplified the process a little bit, but in the end, it took just six months for us to begin this journey. So, if you’re like we were, dreaming about “one day”, just do it already. Life is short and “one day” may never come.

What We've Learned

Life at sea is far less complicated. We never realized how much time we’d wasted on trivial obligations – cleaning and maintaining a big home, our lawn, our cars, and all our other belongings. It was liberating to get rid of it all. The things you own really do end up owning you.

Boat-schooling has been a huge success. Our kids are not only doing far better in school, but they are done with their classwork in half the time. It’s amazing what a little motivation will do. Their desire to swim, fish, and explore nearby islands has driven them to complete their assignments and memorize their spelling words in a fraction of the time. Every place we visit is also a new opportunity to learn about its unique history, geography, wildlife, and culture. They’re learning work ethics and electromechanical skills too. Between maintaining engines, electrical repairs, washing, waxing, and knot tying, they’re on track to become hardworking and capable men one day. We were initially concerned that they may struggle socially, but it turns out there are a lot of families living aboard. They’ve met friends from all over the world and have become more confident.

We spend far less money than we did on land. We have no utility bills or car payments. The wind is our fuel. The sun provides our electricity. The ocean supplies our water and much of our food. Sandy beaches and deserted islands have replaced TV and streaming services. We rarely go to the store and we’re no longer tempted to buy unnecessary gadgets and clothing. 

We eat healthier and we’re more active. We haven’t had fast food since moving aboard, and we don’t miss it. Our meals are mostly fresh produce and seafood. We’re almost always outside getting plenty of vitamin D and fresh air. 

The weather has become a big part of our daily lives. It determines how much electricity our solar panels produce, when we can sail and in which directions, where we can safely anchor, when we can grocery shop, and when we should run for our lives. After a couple close encounters with hurricanes and lighting, we understand what a formidable force the weather can be. We’ve become much more aware of the wind, the tide, the clouds, and our directional orientation. Forecasts are checked on a daily basis.

Most of all, we’ve learned how enormous and wonderful this planet is. We had this notion that we were going to “see the world” over the course of a few years. It didn’t take long for us to realize that we’d need several lifetimes just to explore the entire Caribbean. We had to accept the fact that we’d need to carefully pick and choose our destinations. Life is far too short to see and appreciate all that God has created.