Meet Nathan, the face behind Canadian Traveler

Meet Nathan, the face behind Canadian Traveler

Allie KingNovember 14, 2019

1. Introduce yourself...

My name is Nathan Wilkinson. I am a photographer and creator based out of Ontario, Canada.  I have been involved in graphic design and photography for nearly 10 years and have a passion for creating content that is classic and timeless. Recently I have been involved in fashion photography and have been working with many classic brands such as the Outback Trading Company.

2. What is the craziest adventure you have had? 

To set the scene, it was early May and I was on a road trip to Nova Scotia with a few friends.

It was the off season and not much was open, so we would just camp out under the stars or in a tent if it was raining. One afternoon we made it to the park we had mapped out, however, it was closed for the season and due to poor road conditions, we had to find a new location. We were about a half-hour drive from the coast of New Brunswick and decided to try to make it to the Hopewell Rocks before sunset. We arrived about an hour or so before the sun was supposed to set.

The view was incredible! Tide pools, sand, massive red stone pillars, and cliffs that wrapped around a peninsula which extended for nearly a kilometer. The air was still chilly and crisp, and ice floated in the tidewater. Over the cliff face, a large metal staircase descended to the waterfront. One of my photographer friends and I made our way down to the beach, the smell of frigid seawater hit like a wave. We were on the east side of the peninsula and the light was fading. My friend and I decided to make our way around the edge of the protruding rock face so we could get some sunset photos. We traversed over the wet sandy beach pebbles, through dripping caves and stunning rock formations. We made it to the western side of the landscape just in time for a gorgeous sunset.

We watched the sun dip behind the mountains on the coast, highlighting the dark icy swell of the waves. Satisfied with the photos we had taken we turned back to the haphazard trail we had originally traveled on to see the sunset. We took our time and enjoyed the magnificent orange and reds along the coast. On our way back, it did not take long to run into the edge of the black water. At first, I just assumed we had taken a wrong turn due to our improvised path of travel. However, this was not the case.

The Bay of Fundy Tide is a unique and natural phenomenon. The Bay has both the highest and fastest tides in the entire world! Unfortunately, my friend and I were not privy to this knowledge before our nearly one-kilometer journey. In front of us were some boulders, to our right was water, to our left, the rough cliff wall. We were trapped! I realized our mistake and took stock of the situation. The tide was rising so fast that we could see it lapping higher and higher with each small wave. I knew we had to act quickly, hoping that it was not too late I shoveled all my camera gear into my pack. My plan was to grab the edge of the cliff face and walk around the large rocks blocking our path. I launched myself at the edge of red stone and clutched at the slippery wall of rocks. Immediately I slipped, plunging into the black water!

You don’t feel cold right away. However, the chilling seawater provided immediate clarity, to the gravity of the situation. The key was to remain calm. I looked and could see that the rest of our path seemed fairly clear. I swam to the edge of the water and called my friend and waited for him to also swim back to me and the shore.

Dripping with seawater we jogged along the coast, racing against the fast-rising water. Our trail grew narrower and narrower until we were wading through the salty sea. At last, we made it back to the safety of the solid metal stairs. We climbed our way back up to the tops of the cliffs, onto solid ground.

We still were not in the clear yet. Both of us were soaked to the core with icy water and now beginning to shiver as hypothermia began to set in. It was dark and the wind shot straight through us, adding to our chilled situation.

We needed to find a motel for the night, however, every motel we called was still not open for the summer season. Finally, the last place on our list answered us and gave us a room for the night. A warm shower never felt so good!

 3. Who is your biggest source of inspiration?

I get a lot of my inspiration from the early to mid-1900s. This was an era of time when things were built to last and people took pride in their work. I try to showcase work that is classic and timeless. I would love to travel back in time to see the dedication and care that men and women put into their work. That period in time is very inspiring to me and I try to apply that work ethic and dedication to my work every day.

4. In another life where would your dreams have taken you?

I believe that I would really like to be a police officer officer. I love the idea of going to work not knowing what challenges I may encounter. I hate the idea of being trapped behind a desk doing the same monotonous tasks every day. As a police officer officer, every shift would be a new adventure in itself. It would be challenging both physically and mentally, allowing for personal growth. For me, I believe that would be an absolutely fantastic career!

5. What is your dream adventure?

I would love to travel out West. I have done a lot of road trips around Eastern Canada; however, I have never had the opportunity to tour the Western half of Canada. I would very much like to travel to the Rocky Mountains and take in the views of the natural beauty of that place! Hopefully next year, I will be able to make it out there.

6. What is your favorite piece of Outback gear?

My favorite piece of Outback gear is probably my Swagman Jacket. The Outback Trading Co. makes a lot of great outdoor apparel. What I really enjoy about all of the gear I own from them is that I can count on it to hold up to the roughest and toughest conditions. I really enjoy my Swagman Jacket because I can take it out on chilly and rainy days and absolutely rely on it to keep me warm and dry.

You can follow Nathans adventures on Instagram: @_canadian_traveler_