Virgin Islands Voices: 19-year-old boat captain follows his dreams

“My name is Andrew Lawson and I am the co-owner of this company, Painless Excursions.”

At just 19-years-old Andrew Lawson just may be the youngest tour operator in the VI. The St. Thomas native started driving boats when he was only 6-years-old.

“I had my first boat, I had a little dinghy from a very good friend of mine and ever since then its’ kind always been something I’ve always enjoyed doing,” Lawson said.

He took that passion and turned it into a business plan. By 17 he started developing “Painless Excursion’s” a boating company to show tourists and locals the beauty of the Virgin Islands. On his 18thbirthday he made it a reality.

“Now we have our own physical location. We got a partnership with cruise ship excursions, they help us out a lot with our time schedule. It kind of just works and everyone gets to have fun at the end of the day,” he said.

Now, while some of his friends are off at school or out having fun, he’s at the office. But having fun just the same.

“The biggest reason I decided to start this company and not go off and stuff is because I kinda wanted to give break to find what I like doing. Everyone wants me to go to college but it is kinda like, if I am going to go there what am I going to do. I am not exactly sure what my profession is to be just yet. So really I just started the company to see how it goes for the year and when I get to the end of the year I’ll decide.”

But for now, Lawson is just riding the wave. And enjoying life, “painlessly.”

“I am kind of just in it for the fun of it to be honest. It is really just the fun of doing it is what is keeping me at it all the time.”

Lawson just celebrated his 19th birthday. His advice to other kids his age, don’t give up.