Today in Youth Who Make Us Feel Lazy: 16-Year-Old Girl Sails Around the World by Herself


Raise your hand if your biggest accomplishment this weekend was making it out of bed in time to meet your friends for brunch. Actually, it doesn't even matter if you ran a freaking marathon today, you're still probably not as impressive as 16-year-old Laura Dekker—who sailed into St. Maarten harbor yesterday after sailing by herself around the entire damn planet. Sigh.

While the thought of setting sail on such a long journey sounds daunting to most of us, Dekker, who is from the Netherlands, was born on a boat and sailed by herself for the first time at six; so she's totally at home on the water. The brave teenager, who sailed on a boat with the adorable name of "Guppy," left on her trip on January 20, 2011 from the same port she returned to yesterday. It must have been awfully lonely and terrifying out there alone on the ocean for an entire year, so it's not a surprise that once she was back on shore, Dekker "hugged her family and wept before addressing the crowd."

She is believed to be the youngest sailor to have traveled around the world solo. But, despite the magnitude of her accomplishment, she won't be given a Guinness World Record because they've stopped recognizing records for young sailors so they don't encourage kids to attempt dangerous voyages. Well, Dekker may not be getting a plaque, but at least she can take comfort in the fact that everyone is beyond impressed by her. Oh, and then there's the added bonus that practically everything she does from now on in life will be easier than sailing around the world by herself!

Sixteen-Year-Old Laura Dekker Completes Globe-Circling Sail [Time]