Watched the “Maidentrip” last night, WOW😮!!
On 21st of August 2010, New Zealand born, Dutch Sailor, Laura Dekker set out on a record-breaking attempt to become the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe single-handedly. After 2 years of sailing, she completed the journey around the globe on the 21st of January 2012, at the age of 16.
That’s right she set out on her 2-year journey at the age of 14!! What the hell was I doing at that age? At that age, I considered a solo train trip to Wellington City and back to Porirua a huge achievement!
Laura’s journey had my head full of questions and heart pounding with amazement. What a big call to make as a father to send your 14-year-old girl out into the world all alone for 2 years. As a father, I thought to myself of all the perils that my children may encounter and that terrified me!!
Laura and her parents encountered a fair bit of controversy with certain government agencies objecting to the record breaking attempt, bringing up the issue of to what degree government has a right to intervene when minors engage in risky behavior that is parentally supported. “Everyone was suddenly telling me it was crazy and impossible. My parents were given a really hard time. People called them bad parents. People said they should be put in jail, that they shouldn’t have been able to have kids at all”.
For me to support such an adventure would be for me to be happy with what I have instilled in my children. If I believed that I had equipped my children with the ability to circumnavigate the globe and all the perils entailed, I would also send them out into the world if they displayed the same tenacity as this young adventurer. Although it sounds that I speak with a certain amount of confidence with regards to sending my children out into the big world, emotionally I know it would be very difficult for me to come to the same conclusion that Laura’s parents arrived at.
I cast my mind back to a 14-year-old me and can remember being a lot more fearless back then than I am today, What happened, why have I become so cautious? As we get older we seem to learn and become more fearful. Sure I’ve had some of the risky decisions I made in my youth come back to bite me on occasion, but have I been so beaten up by these experiences that I have become afraid to follow my passion? I think my 14-year-old self would be a lot more terrified of the choice that a 30 something-year-old me has made today by choosing the predictable grown up path of Marriage, Mortage, and a job.
Not only is Lauras voyage a lesson in pursuing your dreams; but a lesson in parenthood. My main objective as a parent is to raise my children to become decent, freethinkers that live up to their potential, and if my children were to display even half the mettle as Laura I would be a very proud father. Well done Dick Dekker and Babs Muller you raised a very special young lady.
I have just ordered Laura’s book “One Girl, One Dream” and I’m looking forward to introducing my children to this inspirational individual.
Check out Laura Dekkers webpage: www.lauradekker.nl and the trailer of “Maidentrip” below.