Inspiring 16-year old girl sailed around the world

Inspiring 16-year old girl sailed around the world

What were you doing when you were 16 years old? We’re assuming playing video games, hanging out with friends, and complaining to your parents about how much homework you had to do. While you were doing all of that some other 16-year-olds were off having adventures of a lifetime. This 16-year-old girl, for example, sailed around the world.

Meet Laura Dekker

Laura Dekker sailed around the world and celebrated her 16th birthday out at sea. Laura’s parents lived on a boat when she was born, so she came by her love of sailing naturally. At six years old she took her first solo trip on a boat. Around that time her parents divorced and she went to live with her father. At 10 she decided that she wanted to sail around the world by herself, and her parents (unlike many other parents) supported her dream and did everything they could to make it happen.

Trouble with the government

By the time that Laura decided that she wanted to sail around the world solo she was living in the Netherlands. While her parents were very supportive of her, the government was not. Laura and her family went to court over whether she could be allowed to sail. The court initially sided with the government and Laura was actually put into the custody of Dutch protection agencies. On her blog, Laura said that the government was not kind to her and that the government “asked the judge to take me away from my father and to lock me up in a secure clinic.”

Finally allowed to sail

After a lengthy battle with the courts, Laura was placed back in the custody of her father and she was allowed to set sail. She was 14 years old. She spent two years at sea completely by herself on her boat. She loved the experience. It seems that the voyage taught her a lot about herself, including just how far you can go when you put your mind (and your considerable skill set) to it.

The documentary

Laura documented her trip on video. She and director Jillian Schlesinger would meet up every couple of port stops and look through the footage that Laura had created. The documentary of her incredible journey is called Maidentrip.

Laura’s story is amazing. Her journey shows us that anything is possible if you work hard enough and want it badly enough.


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