Vacation Therapy

ABOUT Melanie Hawks

Melanie Hawks



Anna’s world changed drastically after her mother’s death. In a family where roles were clearly defined by gender Anna, at age fifteen and as the only girl, suddenly became responsible for taking care of the household and her younger brother. Desperate to make a life of her own, Anna left home at eighteen, married and immediately had three children. Several years later and no longer able to deal with her husband's addictions and ongoing infidelities, Anna realizes she has to take charge of her life. She applies for college and files for divorce the same day. Anna and Alma become friends in graduate school when they discover they share a passion for traveling. That spring they take the first of many vacations together.

For many years I traveled with a good friend to various countries around the world. Each vacation helped me gain a deeper respect for different people and cultures and a deeper insight to who I am as a person. Over time I began to realize my trips were not just about having fun and escaping from reality; they were also opportunities to heal from my past and open myself up to the future.