SEARCH: Iceland and the Northern Lights

Iceland and the Northern Lights
by Kay Tracy

The Aurora Borealis in Iceland

The Aurora Borealis, or the Northern Lights, is an incredible sight of solar particles interacting with our atmosphere high above us near the magnetic poles of our planet.

Should you decide to head out in search of them, know that they can be seen in Alaska, Northern Canada, and in Northern Europe in countries like Iceland, Norway, Finland, and Sweden. They are usually viewed around 65-70 degrees latitude. The lights are “predictably unpredictable,” or rather, they dance to their own beat. Scientists and forecasters will announce…

Read more in our Summer 2022 #SeaSaltSand issue.

SEARCH: A Bird’s Eye View on Bodega Bay

A Bird’s Eye View on Bodega Bay

by Camellia Rains

About an hour north of San Francisco lies the little coastal town of Bodega Bay, made famous for its portrayal in Alfred Hitchcock’s film, The Birds. As a fan of the film since childhood—it was the first horror film I ever watched and one of the only ones my mother will watch—I decided it would be fun to take her on a short trip to visit the town for what I call “The Birds Tour.”

It’s a small trip, but one well worth taking if you have an interest in the film, the California coast, or just simply enjoy a day trip of driving and exploring a new place.

The drive from San Francisco is scenic, especially in the late winter and early spring months when everything is a particular shade of green that can be seen in the Bay Area and up and down along the coastlines…

Read more in our Summer 2022  #SeaSaltSand issue.

SEARCH: A Flight into Being

A Flight into Being

by Camellia Rains

There are many things that happen in life we can’t explain and sometimes something happens to take us down an unexpected path. Such a wondrous thing happened to me when I was twenty-one. Admittedly, at that time I was lost. I was at college and I wanted to change majors but didn’t know to what.

During this time, I began to think about my ancestry. My mother is Guatemalan and Mayan. Ever since I was little, the Mayan capital of Tikal held great mystery for me. As a young woman, I kept thinking about how, despite our heritage, no one in our family had ever visited the site. The idea of going there kept coming into my thoughts. I got the overwhelming feeling something was waiting for me there. What, I did not know, but…

Read more in our Winter 2021 #Wellness issue.

SEARCH: The Benefits of Mineral Baths

The Benefits of Mineral Baths
by Kay Tracy

heidi-kaden-gcKomw5peMo-unsplashAn old phrase you may have heard before is, “Taking the waters.” It involves the use of mineral springs, natural warm water sources, and cold water therapy as a health benefit. Some people will swear that the mineral baths and hot springs have healing properties and result in improved health.

Others hold the belief that this is all wishful thinking and nothing more than hokum, or a line to take your money. While there is certainly a psychological reaction to sitting back in neck-deep warm water and being able to relax, it turns out that science has found it is also physiological as well. Once seen as “alternative” medicine with no grounding in scientific rigor, this viewpoint is changing.

Be aware that there are several categories of hydrotherapy, including…

Read more in our Winter 2021 #Wellness issue.

SEARCH: Guatemala City – A Place of History

Guatemala City – A Place of History

by Camellia Rains

Guatemala is a small Central American country tucked in between the southern part of Mexico, the western part of Belize, and the northern parts of Honduras and El Salvador.

The capital city, Guatemala City, has a strong indigenous population that speaks twenty-three distinct Maya languages. My mother has family that lives in the capitol, and I’ve visited this city on and off for thirty years. Although I am familiar with various places, I always learn something new every time I go.

Let me give you some basics on the city first. It is home to one million people plus another three million in urban areas. It has a tropical climate, and the temperature is usually between seventy-two and eighty-two degrees Fahrenheit. The rainy season is from May to October and let me tell it’s no joke. I’ve seen it go from sunny to pouring buckets of rain, enough to flood the streets within five minutes…

Continue reading our Summer 2021 magazine issue on Superheroes.

SEARCH: Icelandic Food

Icelandic Food by Kay Tracy

Vestrahorn cape, Iceland

Cultural aspects of food can be varied as well as unusual. If you travel to areas outside of your home, you might have discovered this.

Little things like, in some southern states–I’m looking at you, Texas–you automatically get jalapenos instead of pickles on your burger at some places. For that reason, when venturing to other countries, it helps to have an open mind and have a willingness to try new things in the food category. This does not mean you always have to like it. Just be willing to give it a try.

Read more in SEARCH Magazine‘s Enhancing Your Horizon issue, including Icelandic recipes and an interview with master chef Jökull Tandri Ámundason.

SEARCH: Solo Traveling Woman

As part of our Blast from the Past issue, we’re revisiting useful articles from past issues. This article first appeared in our Spring 2020 issue:

Solo Traveling Woman 

by Kay Tracy

TracyMaskAs women, we are often given hints and warnings about traveling solo in articles on safety that focus on fear. Not this one. I want you to be aware of your  surroundings, but not be afraid to get out
and see things.

Solo traveling can mean a couple of things to different people. Often, people think that they must be the only person in on the plans but being part of a tour group can be a comfortable start. You can still be a solo traveler. It’s just that with a group tour, you might get better prices on things and have a guide to provide interesting tidbits and impart information.

If you want to be ‘by yourself’, do not be afraid to start with smaller day trips or destinations closer to home. Not having to pack a bag can mean less worry and bother while you are exploring… continue reading in the Summer 2020 issue.

SEARCH: Berkeley, California

As part of our Blast from the Past issue, we’re revisiting useful articles from past issues. This article first appeared in our Spring 2018 issue:

Berkeley, California

By Sumiko Saulson

CITY SPOTLIGHT BERKELEYBerkeley is a progressive college town, well known for its commitment to arts, culture, and the ecology. It’s the first US city to create accessible spaces and curbside cutouts for the mobility impaired back in the seventies.

Farmer’s markets, pro-cyclist events like Sunday Streets Berkeley, plentiful bicycle lanes, and automobile-free zones, community gardens, composting, recycling centers, urban farming, and parks dedicated to preserving native wildlife are part of how Berkeley works towards a greener planet.

University of California Berkeley is home to a beautifully manicured thirty-four acre botanical garden featuring foot bridges, relaxing streams, lush flora, and aromatic flowers from around the globe. It’s Student Organic Garden at the corner of Walnut and Virginia Streets, encourages urban farmers to grow healthy, earth-friendly fresh foods… Ccontinue reading in the Summer 2020 issue.

SEARCH: International Travel

International Travel: Ready, Set, Go!
by Kay Tracy

DeckChairsTravel time!  You are ready to take your first trip away from your home country?  You have watched travel shows on PBS and seen online videos. Maybe you even want to try and make your own travel channel.  International Airports will take on a whole new meaning for you.

Let’s look at some things you will want to consider and research

Passport: It can take a while to obtain one of these in the US, so don’t delay getting the process started.  You can get the application paperwork online to fill out and even take your own pictures to send along, Just be sure to follow the instructions carefully to avoid any delays.  Use a sheet over a door for your background when taking the picture, and pay attention to the sizing requirements. If you are not comfortable with that, check with your post office for passport services. There is a small fee for them to do the picture, but you know it will be done right.

Visas: No, not the credit card. Some countries you might travel to will require a visa. Check with the embassy or other government offices BEFORE booking your trip. Also note, some countries require you to have proof of a return ticket to your home country before you can gain entry. Brazil is one of those, in case you were thinking of Carnivale. The internet lets you

Continue reading in the Winter 2019 issue.

SEARCH: Be Prepared for School

Be Prepared for School

by Sumiko Saulson

IdeaBePrepared.jpegSchool can be particularly challenging for neurodivergent people who have autism, anxiety disorders, and other problems that can lead to sensory overload. How do you keep yourself from being overwhelmed?

Time Management

Having a binder with a daily, weekly, and monthly planner or a calendar on your wall, or even both can help you with doing your best in school. Most schools offer a free one at registration if you start early enough. The Dollar Tree and 99 Cent Stores have them, and you can get 18 or 12-month calendars. There are also online calendars such as Google Calendar or iCalendar. Many phones have a calendar and an alarm you can set to help you get up on time and remember classes. Get to class early rather than late to avoid anxiety. That way you can get a seat while there are fewer people and have time for a video game or meditation to relax before class.

Brain Food

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and for students, your first meal should be filled with protein. Sugars and caffeine give a short term burst of energy but may leave you lagging around 3pm when the effect wears off. Avoid carbo-loading, because that cereal turns into sugar later in the day. Instead, try eggs or…

Continue reading in SEARCH Magazine’s Winter 2019 issue.