Rebel Heart

Posted on by Karen

So, there are lots of things I ought to be writing about right now but there is one thing that I’ve read a lot about recently and it’s something I feel I have to write about before anything else.


Everyone has an opinion on it, and I do too. One I would like to share.

Now, I’ll be honest, I never have and never will undertake such a daring adventure as the Kaufmans. Crossing an ocean in a small boat is something I couldn’t do.

But note the wording… COULDN’T. I couldn’t do it because I don’t have the skills and, quite frankly, I don’t have the courage.  Taking the kids to sea is something I would very much like to do… though when we do, it will be in a much bigger boat!!!Boat papawestray

So, while I don’t envy their decision to sail around the world in one small boat with two small children, I do understand it. What I don’t understand is the sheer number of people who feel they can sit in judgement of them.

In almost every single article I have read criticising the Kaufmans’ decision to take their children away, I am left with the distinct feeling that it says more about the writer. Almost as if one wrong ending justifies a lifetime of sitting on a sofa so as not to incur a ‘risk’. As if nothing bad ever happens if you just stay at home. We all know that’s not true.

The people who defend them are those who have been out there and done it…. And understand that their predicament could never have been foreseen or planned for. It’s ironic in the extreme that those who judge most are usually those who know least.

The Kaufmans took a risk, undeniably. But it was a calculated risk and they had a back up plan. They needed their back up plan; They implemented their backup plan; It was executed perfectly.

The age old argument as to why they shouldn’t have gone gets wheeled out every time: The children won’t remember it. It’s just the most ridiculous argument ever. If I shouldn’t travel with them… should I not read to them? Cuddle them? Tell them that I love them? Is there a magical age at which you should start to ‘do’ things with your kids?


There are quite a few people in the world who thought (and possibly still think!) I was crazy to complete Lands End to John O’Groats with a 2 and a 4 year old or to cross America and Canada on a train with a 3 and a 5 Year old; To go to the Arctic Circle on a train or travel to the northern Orkneys just to take a flight….plane Papawestray

Of course, for us, it’s all gone under the radar because our adventures have been incident free… but if they hadn’t, I am sure I would have felt the wrath of those who felt I should not have put myself in that situation with young children.

We each have to decide what we feel is a risk and what is not.

Papa westrayAnd remember that the greatest risk of all is not following our own heart. Rebel or not.

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