Back on topic from playing 20 questions for a bit.
Good on her for succeeding. I think it was coming across a post about her trip several months back that made me start planning again. I never wanted to be a firefighter or an astronaut, I wanted to sail around the world alone. Like most people I accepted reality and forgot until I came across her story.
Some people have the sense needed to make a good judgement call at a young age, some never have it.
I've worked with kids in outdoors situations for a few years starting when I was 17 usually they were 13-16. Some of them could be relied on completely if there were ever a situation where I was incapacitated, I had full confidence they would manage the situation and make the right call.
Some of them I wouldn't trust with a whole roll of toilet paper when they went to relieve themselves, they'd only get enough squares for one crap.
Age wasn't the deciding factor. Their actions and previous choices were.
Recently I almost the wrong boat, because I thought you had to have a slip to live-aboard in this area, thankfully some Sailnet members pointed out the flaws.
. I make less sensible decisions than Laura Dekker when it comes to boats, but I'm older than she is. Age should not be confused with experience or good judgement.
It also doesn't matter what age you set off at, people will still lecture you about being too young, and irresponsible parents.
Somebody forwarded me an article an older rider had written about meeting me and my "cold war era piece of crap" Honda motorbike heading south in the USA. He felt that my parents were completely irresponsible, and that I would be injured or dead shortly after crossing the Mexican border. We're good friends now, but I left a bit of a pointed comment on his site at the time.
I spent years drifting between dead end factory jobs that damaged my health, and left me unsatisfied. I believed all the age related nonsense, always waiting for that time I'd be ready and mature enough to travel.
I was no more or less ready for my trip last when I was 23 than I would have been at 15. In some situations I ran into I strongly suspect I would have made better choices at 15.
If I had died at either age it would have been while accomplishing something important for myself. My parents supporting me in that goal was not irresponsible, but an act of great sacrifice on their part. I have no doubt they were scared for me, but they made the decision to allow me to do what was important to me, despite the potential risks. It was my choice, and their support, as well as the support of other riders meant a lot. I'm sure the same can be said for her and her dad.