THE KINDNESS TOUR KICKS OFF
Photography: Nathanael Patriquin l Kindness Models: Sam & Kendra Wilson

Photography: Nathanael Patriquin l Kindness Models: Sam & Kendra Wilson

You know what is great about The Maritimes? It's hospitality! Nathanael and I sped off in my little car to catch the Grand Manan Adventure ferry! I did not realize how big of a deal the ferry was and that you had to have reservations and get there early if you wanted to catch the boat. Thankfully, after an hour and a half of laughing my head off at Nate's jokes we made it on time! We boarded the ferry (which was terrifying for my first time) and then made our way upstairs to the back of the boat where we watched the men pull in the rope and take off.

When we finally got to the island Sam met us at the library. She had decorated the entire room that I was presenting in with all the photos from previous photoshoots I had styled. Along the walls were pictures of my friends, Ryan, and all the models I have worked with. I felt a lump crawl up my throat and I tried to keep my eyes dry as I was so overwhelmed with this act of kindness. Looking at all of those familiar faces starting back at me, and all of my work hanging on the walls made me feel so much more relaxed and at home.

Nate, Sam, myself and a group of between 15-20 high school girls traveled along the island and made our way onto a gorgeous beach. Since it was May it was still a bit cold and over cast. We could see our breath in the air and the girls shivered underneath their silk but I could tell that this beach would be spectacular on a hot July day.

We took pictures of the girls individually and in small groups with their friends. Each girl picked out a different colour silk they wanted to be styled in and Nate and I captured smiles and laughter along the sea foam covered beach. After the photo shoot we headed back to the Library where I gave a short presentation on fashion, following your dreams, and kindness. We talked about body image in the fashion world, making your own job, and surrounding yourself with others who support you.

After the session Sam called up her bf Charles who has worked with Ryan at two previous jobs and who used to train me at the gym. Chuck now works as a carpenter and a fisherman on the island. Chuck had been up since THREE AM and took us on a 40 minute or so tour of their beautiful island. He dropped us off at land marks so we cold hop out and take pictures. After our tour we headed back to Chuck and Sam's new home. She cooked us pasta and her sister Kendra came over and baked us fresh chocolate chip cookies. We had a beer and ate chips as Sam cooked. As the five of us sat in the kitchen talking and laughing I couldn't help but feel so happy. THIS is what the east coast is all about. THIS is what kindness is.

After dinner Charles headed to bed as he had to fish at three am again the next day and the rest of us stayed up and chatted some more. I felt so at home with these strangers and Nathanael and I couldn't get over their hospitality and warm welcome. We finally went to bed at around 1:00am and I was woken up the next morning to kisses from Sam's dog Rory. We said our goodbyes and Natahanael and I hit the road again. We stopped at Swallowtail light house and took in the beautiful scenery. After that we grabbed one more peanut butter chocolate coffee from Jitter Java and made our way back home.

The amount of kindness shown to us on this trip, and Nathanael taking two days off work to travel with me...it just made me remember why I started these KINDESS boxers in the first place. I left the island feeling refreshed and so much better than I had just the day before only because I was shown kindness by so many people. I was so inspired by all of my new and old friends and wanted to pass along the kindness I had been shown.

As I continue this tour I know that this trip will be a high light of it FOR SURE and that I will never forget those crazy jam packed 24 hours I spent traveling, laughing, and talking with these people. 

If you would like to have the KINDNESS TOUR come to YOUR city, school, business, town, email me at darawilkie@hotmail.com

D.W.