Brian Trautman's Transformation: From Software Engineer to World Sailor

As Celia Fenandez and Enestine Siu reported for CNBC’s Make It earlier today, Brian Trautman, once a software engineer working 60-hour weeks at companies like Microsoft, found the bus rides to and from work as the most enjoyable part of his day. This realization led him to a life-changing decision during one of these commutes in 2008. Desiring a significant change, Trautman embarked on a journey, which the CNBC article describes as saving diligently for two years before selling all his possessions, including a townhouse in Redmond, Washington, for a two-year sabbatical at sea.

CNBC reports that Trautman purchased the 53-foot sailboat SV Delos for $398,000, paying an $81,000 down payment. This boat, featuring three cabins and two bathrooms, became his home at sea.

By 2019, Trautman had fully paid off the sailboat. Initially, he set sail with two years of savings, around $48,000, but faced financial strains, leading him to use credit cards and retirement funds, and take odd jobs.

According to CNBC, Trautman’s life took a romantic and entrepreneurial turn in New Zealand in 2011 when he met Karin, who later became his wife. Together, they started filming their adventures, launching the YouTube channel Sailing SV Delos, initially intended as a side project but eventually becoming their main source of income.

The CNBC article describes the SV Delos as a compact version of a modern home, with a rear cabin for the couple, a front cabin for their daughter, and a guest cabin. The kitchen, equipped with essential appliances, reflects the challenges of marine life, especially in procuring fresh produce. CNBC Make It notes that their grocery shopping trips can cost around $500, with additional monthly expenses for maintenance and utilities.

CNBC Make It highlights that Trautman’s journey has taken him to over 45 countries, covering 70,000 ocean miles. The birth of their daughter Sierra led to a temporary return to land life in Sweden, but the family soon resumed their life at sea, enriching Sierra’s early experiences with nature, as detailed in the CNBC report.

As per the CNBC Make It article, with Sierra now four years old, the family is considering staying in French Polynesia for a year and potentially relocating to Sweden for her upbringing. Trautman reflects on how the journey has transformed him, reshaping his priorities and reinforcing the value of time with loved ones:

This trip changed my DNA at the core where I’m a different person than I was when I started. I have a different view on priorities and what’s important in my life. The time that I have to spend with friends and family and loved ones is what matters.

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