Couple's Plan to Sail Around World With 3-Year-Old Sparks Controversy

Where would you feel safe raising your toddler? Odds are your answer would involve raising said child on land. But Simon and Kim Brown are looking to spend several formative years of their daughter Sienna's life in a far more watery way. The family sold their home, quit their jobs, bought a 56ft yacht and will be sailing around the world with their 3-year-old toddler.


Here's the thing, toddlers are just learning all those important things from learning to walk confidently, to socializing with other kids, to the routine of everyday life. There won't be much routine about Sienna's life. The world will be home with the family visiting oodles of different ports. She won't have the social structure of playgroups and preschool, rather she will be home schooled (or boat schooled in this case) by her parents. And while she may not get much practice walking on land, she will certainly have her sea legs. But the thing that pops into my head, which takes this concept from cool to crazy, is the safety of this journey.

The family has a blog about their adventure called Sailing Britican where they will chronicle their travels. After word of their family trip hit the news, strangers began to question the wisdom of taking a child that small on a journey that big. Ms. Brown wrote of the concern people have had:

What about pirates, being so close to water all the time, storms, tidal waves, human sized squid, killer sharks, back flipping boat smashing wales, the Bermuda Triangle, capsizing possibilities, foreign bacteria, health issues, blood sucking leaches, jelly fish stings or collisions?  Hmmmmm, yes those are risks but let’s compare them to "normal" day to day living.  I bet that doing the daily school run is a higher risk than all the risks associated to sailing. Or, in other words, I bet that there are more fatalities caused by car crashes than all the fatalities caused by living on a boat.

But I have to say, not as many people are living on boats and sailing the world, so it's not the same scenario. I just think of that little girl, walking around the edge of the ship and the thought of that totally scares me. But the parents have said they've prepared as much as they can with first aid, medical and sailing courses. 

Yes, it will be cool to see the world in such a unique way, but it seems that Sienna is just too young to enjoy it, remember it and is far too young to do such a hardcore adventure.

Would you bring your toddler on a sailing trip around the world?

Image via Deborah/Flickr

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Jozemom Jozemom

I have to mentally prepair myself  for about two days just to take my toddler to walmart! To each his own though, there's certainly worse parents doing worse things.

Coles... Coles_mom

I think it's fantastic. She won't remember anything, but wow- what an adventure! Heck, leave the 3 year old and take me!

TheSi... TheSilence

I personally thinks it's awesome! I say if they have the opportunity to show their child the world she will be better off than most children.

The child has the rest of her life to sit in a classroom and fall into social norms, why not enjoy this short period of time she has before school becomes more complicated?

It's also a good thing we all get to raise put children the way we see fit.

Ashyb... Ashybaby13

Nows the time to do it. Family life is about the whole family and mom and dad need to be fulfilled too. This child will have an amazing experience and will shape her to be a more open minded individual.

Frost... FrostyMelted

No, I wouldn't do this. But, it's not my place to judge these people or tell them how to raise their daughter. Of course, the sanctimommies that populate this board and work for TheStir will judge and lecture these people despite their own lives being a huge mess.

Kaya529 Kaya529

I think it sounds pretty cool. I wish the family all the best and am kind of jealous.

youth... youthfulsoul

I think it sounds stressful and dangerous to have a preschooler on a boat sailing around the world. No thank you.

nonmember avatar Niki

I think it's great! I grew up on a sailboat, my parents had three small children living on a 40 ft boat for at least 10 years staring out as babies, and it was an awesome experience. There is so much you can learn and experience out on the water and meeting different types of people that you would never get to experience living in typical american suburbia. Good for them!

miche... micheledo

I think it is a great idea!  I am sure the couple are well aware of safety issues and are as prepared as they can be.  Things on land can be just as uncertain - fires, mudslides, earthquake, tornado, . . .  It's just the water is foreign to most of us.  

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