Searching For Sero: Finding Happiness In The Outdoors

This view is sure to get you happy. | Photo: John Rathwell This view is sure to get you happy. | Photo: John Rathwell

Happiness is something that everyone strives for in life and when things get rough it can be quite a hard thing to find. Enter Searching for Sero. Searching for Sero is a mental wellness photography project created by professional photographer, John Rathwell and writer, Tracy Guenard. Sero being short for serotonin is the chemical believed to contribute to the feeling of happiness. The project centers itself around Rathwell and Guenard traveling in their VW Westfalia camper van around North America on the search to find and share stories of people “who are passionate about outdoor adventure as the key to happiness, well-being and balance in their lives.”

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On the road Searching for Sero. | Photo: John Rathwell

The project was created after both Rathwell and Guenard lost members of their family to suicide in 2015. For this project they plan to make a book featuring all the stories and photos from people telling their “Sero” stories across North America and proceeds from the sales of the book will be donated to charities that are focused on suicide prevention and mental health awareness.

Many of the stories that have been featured so far on their website searchingforsero.com not surprisingly feature the stories of stand up paddlers. As we well know, stand up paddling brings a light of happiness to anyone who steps foot on a board and for the people in these stories, it has been a life-changing sport.

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searching for sero 7A few shots from some of the stories featuring SUP. | Photos: John Rathwell


Surfing and stand up paddling is also something that Rathwell and Guenard are passionate about themselves. Any time these two are near the water you will find the both of them out on their paddle boards enjoying the beauty that surrounds them.

“I don't care if it's flat, big waves or anything in between,” said Rathwell, “I’m out there.” He continued, “That is one of the reasons we were so stoked to have Surftech get on board and support the project. They have allowed us to switch up our boards depending where we are. Some all-rounders for sloppy Canadian east coast surf and lakes. Touring boards for the main land crossing, and when we get to the west coast we will switch it up again. Maybe some race boards for catching swells, or something a little more surf inspired.”

searching for sero 3John and Tracy on the road. | Photo: John Rathwell

Rathwell and Guenard started their journey earlier in 2016 and plan to be on the road until the Fall/Winter of 2017/18. See their schedule below:

  • Spring/Summer 2016 – Eastern Canada
  • Fall/Winter 2016/17 – Western Canada
  • Spring/Summer 2017 – Western USA
  • Fall/Winter 2017/18 – Eastern USA

To learn more about Search for Sero, to contribute to the project, or just to see some stunningly beautiful photos from the project, head to their website and check it out: searchingforsero.com

To see more SUP Journeys and Adventures, click HERE.

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Last modified onFriday, 28 October 2016 14:53

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