At age 16, Jessica Watson became the youngest person ever to sail solo and unassisted around the world. This week on Sam’s Dream Blog, Jessica shares about braving new territory, the importance of a team in your dream pursuits and about overcoming adversity.
Sam's Dream Blog: What’s your dream for sailing? How did your dream originate? How has it evolved?
Jessica Watson: My family sailed when I was young, but it wasn’t till I was 11 that I dreamt of sailing around the world. I was fascinated by the ocean and wanted to prove what young girls are capable of. These days I love sailing more and more and dream of inspiring more people to give sailing a try.
SDB: What makes you most proud of being the youngest person ever to sail solo and unassisted around the world?
Jessica Watson: Great question. It was a solo voyage around the world, but it took a whole team of people to get safely to the start line. I’m proud of the hard work from all of my team. I’m also proud of how I managed the mental side of the voyage. There were times when I was scared and upset, but most of the time I stayed positive.
SDB: What have been the biggest obstacles or challenges to realizing your dreams? What advice do you have for others in pursuit of their dreams?
Jessica Watson: At first finding the support and funding I needed was hard. Then I actually hit a huge ship just before I set off on the voyage. That was a big setback, but I learned so much from the incident, and it made me stronger. There are lots of things I could say about the determination and persistence it takes to achieve your dreams, but I think the most important part is to take the first step and have the courage to chase your dreams.