We are Rufus and Kate Brand (hence “A Brand New Life”). We’re a young South African couple that has decided to do life a little differently…

When we’re not running a private exploration yacht, searching for remote and uncharted territory all over the world, we’re on our own sailboat circumnavigating the globe in between land-based adventures like motorbiking around Central America, hiking volcanoes, surfing South Korea and cycling Patagonia on fold up bicycles!

We did the traditional adult couple stuff, like buy and renovate a home, run our own business, buy a couple of cars and adopted two precious dogs to go with it all, while making a rather large pile of debt for ourselves along the way. About 2 years into married life (2010) we decided to stop fooling ourselves and started working our backsides off to free ourselves of debt and buy a boat to sail around the world. Nothing about our life is conventional or consistent, other than that it’s adventurous unpredictability (which we thrive on!) and that all our decisions are based on gut instinct and our combined happiness.

We started this blog to keep our families up to date with our constantly changing geographical positions and to give them insight into what our nomadic life is like. Since most of them don’t know how, or refuse, to learn to use Skype, Whats App, Facebook, Instagram or any other convenient method of international communication, this is the easiest way to connect with all of them (we saved our blog URL in their Bookmarks bar before we left to make it extra easy).

We are in our 11th year of marriage and 8th year of nomadic life together. We’ve lost count of the countries we’ve travelled to and the nautical miles we have sailed to reach most of them. In 2012 we crossed the Atlantic Ocean, from South Africa to Brazil, and in 2016, after cruising, working in and crossing the Caribbean Sea, the two of us sailed our beloved Melody across the Southern Pacific Ocean, from Panama to French Polynesia. This was quite a serious goal for us and one of our most meaningful achievements to date.

Right now our sailing yacht “Melody” is resting, on the hard, in the Marquises Islands (Hiva Oa) and we are happily running a private yacht. The preliminary itinerary for the year ahead is mostly the Central American coast, Cuba and the US. After that, we hope to return to our boat and complete our circumnavigation, ending right where we started 6 years ago in South Africa.

We have plans to eventually settle down and do (some of) the conventional things expected of adult couples again but, as usual, we will do it in our own time and in our own unique kind of “normal”.

This is our journey. Thank you for joining us for part of the ride!

Katie & Ruf