As many of you know, during my travels to Iceland two weeks ago, we experienced so much beauty. I had told you all about the calculated risk that we took in going to Iceland, how we were travelers during our adventures, but this week, we are going to talk about tenacity and how we would have missed one of the greatest moments of our trip, if it weren’t for a tenacious 14-year-old.  

Let’s take you back. It’s December and there are volcanoes erupting, earthquakes, and many of the sites are closed due to road closures. It was a lot of risk. But Shaan, our 14-year-old, really wanted to visit Iceland. From the moment we had started planning, he was tracking how the volcano was doing and checking if the sites were open. Would we be able to travel? 

On December 18th, when the volcano finally did erupt, there was still a lot of risk in us going. There were supposed to be additional eruptions. Would there be aftershocks from earthquakes? But we made the conscious decision that we were going to travel. So, on December 31st (New Year’s Eve), the Kaila family boarded their flight to Iceland not knowing if we would get to experience all the wonders that make this land so beautiful. Yes, we had a full itinerary planned, but would we actually get to experience it? 

Now many of you have heard me often speak about our son Shaan. He is tenacious. He is 14 years old but by golly that boy is a 40-year-old walking in a little man’s body. If he wants something, he will do the research, be persistent, and find out every single piece of information that is necessary to make the conscious decision—and then, he’ll drive his parents insane until we finally agree. No, we are not pushovers, but he truly does come up with compelling arguments. Like I said, a 40-year-old man in a 14-year old’s body. 

During our travels, we were fortunate that we were able to see many of the beautiful wonders that Iceland holds. Yes, we were extremely lucky that on the day that we traveled to the South Coast, to experience the Black Sand beach, it was the only day that we were able to observe the Northern Lights. They were amazing. But that wasn’t enough for Shaan, he had two very important things on his bucket list—yes, the Northern Lights, but more importantly, he wanted to go to the Blue Lagoon. A tourist trap you might say – yes maybe – but Shaan wanted to go. Have you really been to Iceland without experiencing these mystical blue waters? So, as we planned our trip, and left our last day open in the hopes that the lagoon would open. As we got closer to our travel dates, each day he would check the lagoon website and they would extend their closures. The entire region where the lagoon is located was closed.  

We made alternate plans to go to the Sky Lagoon, which was near Reykjavik, just in the event that there was no other option. Now close your eyes and imagine, I’m sleeping and it’s our last day there. Our appointment at the Sky Lagoon is at 5 PM so we are sleeping in to 9 AM. We are all asleep, and Shaan comes bursting into our room. The Blue Lagoon has opened. How he woke before us, I don’t know, and talk about tenacity, that little boy was checking the website each and every day—even while on vacation. He had put his mind to something and nothing was going to stop him.  

He must have woken up, and the first thing he did was to refresh the website to see if it was open. Lo and behold, we were able to buy day passes to enter the lagoon. All of a sudden everyone was up. We quickly purchased the passes for 1 PM, and found a rental car, because getting there was not going to be easy. It was 45 minutes away from Reykjavik where we were staying, closer to the airport, and the bellman was telling us that no vehicles were allowed in. Even Google Maps was telling us that there was no way to get there. We called the lagoon, they told us that cars would be allowed in, and that we could come.  

We quickly packed up all our stuff, and headed to the lagoon. There was a security check point on the way to Grindavik. Yes, we were worried, but we followed the signs for the The Blue Lagoon and made it there. It was definitely an experience worth seeing. Were there times that I was scared that a volcano would erupt? Yes, as any good mother would be worried when she has all her children with her. We actually were very lucky. It was probably less crowded than it usually would have been.  

There were still hundreds of people there, but the overall experience was serene. The waters were so blue, the water so warm, you could feel the minerals underneath your toes. The steam was rising from the crystal blue waters. It was one of those experiences that you will never forget. And all because of a tenacious 14-year-old who woke up that morning to check to see if the blue lagoon had opened. Had he not checked, we would have never gone. We would have spent our day just roaming around Reykjavik and gone to the Sky Lagoon in the evening. We still went to the Sky Lagoon, why not experience both, since they were truly individually unique.  

Moral of this story—be tenacious at every age. Whether an adult or child, follow a goal and never stop trying, no matter what. We would have missed one of the most wonderous experiences of our entire trip had it not been for the tenacity of our 14-year-old. Is he a mini me? Yes, a chip off his mom’s block I will say—and I couldn’t be prouder. 

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