I am sitting here on a United flight headed to Mexico for a quick getaway with some friends. Just a few days. Long enough to relax but not long enough for people to realize I was even gone. As we approach the airport in Cancun, I can’t help but think of Abby Sunderland, a new blogger I began following a few weeks ago. Her story is an amazing one and has a connection to Mexico.
Abby is 16 years old and is one of 7 children. She lives in Thousand Oaks, CA and has been around boats and water since she was an infant. From the time she was 13, Abby knew exactly what she wanted to do in life. She wanted to be the youngest person ever to sail around the world solo. Her parents and friends thought she was kidding and tried to reason her out of it. But every time they would bring it up, she just kept asking “where’s my boat?”.
Two weeks ago, Abby left Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and is sailing solo around the world. I don’t know about you but it takes a minute for my brain to let that fact sink in. It will take her six months. Thanks to technology, she is connected to a support team that helps her navigate and keeps her safe. And here’s the part I find so fascinating. Not only is she living this dream, but she blogs about it every day from her boat at AbbysBlog.
We can learn about the mechanics of Wild Eyes, her 40-foot sailboat, and read about the squid that keep hanging out on her deck. She writes about cooking in her small galley, how she sleeps (or doesn’t) and the emotions she experiences on her journey. I love how it makes my challenges seem so insignificant and manageable. I work through my issues surrounded by the convenience of instant access to people, food, shelter, and comfort. Abby is on a boat, by herself, in the middle of the ocean. I LOVE that!
Here’s the other part I love. How does a 16 year girl get the inspiration to sail around the world alone when the rest of us don't even go to the ladies room by ourselves? She got inspired because she watched her older brother to the exact same thing the year before. How wonderful for her that she had proof of exactly how much is possible, even at her age, when you dream big and you don’t take no for an answer.
My kids are teenagers and just a few years younger than Abby. Her story inspires me to spend more time reminding them of what’s possible and less time warning them about all the things that can go wrong.