“Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.”
~Anne of Green Gables, by L. M. Montgomery
Have you stopped listening to the radio? Do you grimace at reading the news? Perhaps even shy away from several of your social media sites because you just can’t take the constant input of terrible, horrible, no good, very bad… what on earth has happened to society?! (Will you also be glad when the US election is over tomorrow?) I’m right there with you. If you’ve been reading this series of posts from the beginning (if you haven’t, Start Here), you’ll remember that I was also none too happy with my day-job environment thanks to, well, people. I was in serious doubt of Anne’s opinion on scarcity of Kindred Spirits spirits and in desperate need of restoring my faith in humanity.
So did I find Kindred Spirits and a renewal of faith in humanity on Prince Edward Island?
Yes. Most definitely Yes.
If you too are beginning to wonder whether there is any good left in humanity, a visit to the world of Anne of Green Gables is just the ticket. Not only because it takes us to Canada, and Canadians really are the nicest people (They even recently started a Tweeting campaign to boost American spirit!), but also because L. M. Montgomery’s Island is still full of Kindred Spirits. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, these are the people you have an instant connection with, that you just know are kind souls. And on occasion it will not be instantaneous, but you will find a Kindred Spirit in someone as you get to know them better.
The B&B staff and restaurateurs of the Island were all Kindred Spirits.
- First, there was Ragnar, the innkeeper who encouraged us to “Just relax! Just relax!” I knew I’d like it on PEI from that minute.
- And then there was the gal at the Kindred Spirits reception desk who offered to make coffee early by bringing her own hot water heater!
- And we certainly appreciated the young local boys working as waiters and Historic Village employees willing to tell us about their Island. They all had an easy temperament that made us feel as if we were laughing and chatting with old friends.
- Our favorite restaurateur, however, was the owner of the Blue Mussel Cafe, who was willing to take a time out to tell us all about the economy of the island.
So were the Island’s independent artisans –
Most of the independent artisan shops and distilleries were run out of people’s homes or smaller buildings on their own property. They welcomed us into their homes and shops even when they weren’t technically open!
- At Deep Roots Distillery the summer helper opened the door for us, despite technically being closed on Mondays, and then sat and chatted as long as we wanted to stay, rather than hurrying us along.
- The jeweler of Bent Wire Creations who remade me 3 different rings until one felt right! The last time we stopped by, we caught her early in the morning just as she was running out, but she happily stopped to make me a new ring!
- The owner of Ewe & Dye at Victoria by the Sea, welcomed us into his home/shop. Although he’d been happily enjoying a rocking chair in the sun when we arrived, he was genuinely pleased to answer all our questions about the beautiful crafts in his shop.
Even the American summer ex-pats turned out to be Kindred Spirits! The woman working the Winery showroom at Matos Winery & Distillery, it turned out had a son that graduated from the same small college I did, and surprised me by saying “You Black Squirrel, You!” when I mentioned I’d gone to school in Pennsylvania, her home state. (Yes, my mascot was a Black Squirrel.) Small world. It seems that not only the locals of PEI are Kindred Spirits, but so are those attracted to the Island.
And strangely last of all, the PEI airport employees…
Sadly we did have to leave. At the airport we watched our over-stuffed bags go through the scanners with apprehension. We were flying out with lots of liquid souvenirs (both alcoholic, and a 12 pack of non-alcoholic Raspberry Cordial). Surprisingly, our bags passed inspection without any TSA agent deciding to tear any of them open and take everything out! It was a miracle. I even forgot to take my computer out of my pack and they did no more than let me take the computer out myself and rescan the bag! Easiest departure ever.
The weather was turning so it was perfect timing to depart. This way I will always remember PEI as sunny and warm, just like the locals’ disposition! Though they did their best to assure us that the weather we experienced was unusual. The norm is wet, cold, and stormy. And did you know that the bridge to PEI is the longest bridge over ice water in the world when the ice burgs flow through the channel? Anyway, I don’t want to believe them. What do they know? Most of PEI empties out for the fall and winter months. Student tourism workers return to Charlottetown to the University and many others return to homes on mainland Canada. So the point is, if you’re in desperate need of a restoration of faith in humanity, start reading Anne of Green Gables now. Perhaps you’ll be on #8 by next July, and that’s the perfect time to visit.
To all of these people, and the others we interacted with, Thank You.
Have you found “Kindred Spirits” during your travels? Let’s discuss in the comments below!
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