The Importance of a Happy Place

By Alexia Adams, author of Singapore Fling

Singapore FlingWhenever I read author bios, I’m always impressed by those who knew they wanted to be storytellers early on in life. When I did my student aptitude test in school, the general conclusion was that I wanted to travel. So I became a secretary and worked my way around the world on my typing skills. It wasn’t what I really wanted to do for the rest of my life, but it was a means to an end.

What I always have been is a reader. I love to lose myself in an engrossing story, to journey along with the lead characters. When I am bored, stressed or upset, I pick up a book and leave my worries behind and empathize with the heroine as she deals with her own issues.

Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to carry around a book to escape into, especially as I’ve only recently acquired an e-reader. So, I resorted to making up stories in my head when a book wasn’t handy. This was especially effective during the four hour daily commute that I endured, most of the journey by bus where I couldn’t read unless I wanted to risk travel sickness. I coped by tapping into my internal happy place and mentally voyaging to a distant land far away from my fellow commuters.

It was only during my last maternity leave that I decided to start writing down some of the stories I’d been working on for years in my head. Of course then I had to learn all the mechanics of storytelling. But I enjoyed every moment of creating people and places that would hopefully keep not only me, but eventually others, amused. Little did I know that finding my happy place was about to become a vital escape route.

Shortly after my baby turned two, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Over the next two years I think I spent more time in my happy place, crafting stories, than I did anchored in reality. Six hour sessions of chemotherapy can really give a girl a lot of happy place time. I wrote and wrote and wrote, so that now I have a computer full of stories, just waiting to see the light of an e-reader.

I am pleased to say that I emerged from the cancer detour a more confident woman, less stressed mother (I have a clearer insight into what is really important for my children—spending time with them) and, I hope a better writer. So whether you find your happy place in a good story, or a make-believe world in your own mind, may it give you the strength and courage to face what life may throw your way.


Alexia used to travel the world, meeting new people, experiencing new sights and tastes. She’s lived in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, England, and France, as well as spending three months in Panama and two months in Russia. When life demanded that she stay rooted in one place, she took to vicarious voyages through the characters she created in her romance novels. Her stories reflect her love of travel and feature locations as diverse as the wind-swept prairies of Canada to the hot and humid jungles of Guyana. To discover other books written by Alexia or read her blog on inspirational destinations, Journey to Love at