Annette Thompson photo at DeLand Florida's Angels Wings WallSecond Chance Travels was birthed out of my own experiences. I always had a yearning to travel.

I was born in a Los Angeles hospital in 1956, unlike my mother who came into a farm without electricity or running water in Kentucky. My parents were both self employed, both golfers, both travelers—but primarily hit the road to visit family. We didn’t take many vacations, instead we’d journey across Route 66 to see grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins back East. Those early views from the back of a station wagon fueled my imagination. My brothers and I would make games out of pronouncing place names, wondering what those places were like as we motored past.

In 1962, my parents packed my brothers and I up and moved us to Birmingham, Alabama. We traded the orange groves of California for the slow drawl and Civil Rights struggles of the Deep South. It may have been culture shock, but it also became home.

Following school, I took a job with a major regional magazine, Southern Living, and cut my editorial teeth crafting cookbooks and practicing travel writing. A career creating stories for women was born. So were two adorable children.

Now with additional university degrees and that corporate career behind me, I live in a mid-century high-rise in downtown Birmingham with my husband, having ditched the huge suburban home last year for a pied-à-terre, a place to call home, and a place to shut the door as I head for the airport.

Like my parents, I have fallen in love with working for myself. I have a fat cat and a silly kitten who tie me to our flat, and my husband rarely can break away for my sojourns. So I understand your responsibilities to those back home. While my children are now in their 20s, they still need me—and me them, thankfully. But I’ve bequeathed my passion for the road as well.

After decades of books and magazine stories about the South, two years ago I wrote the book Alabama Barbecue, and in early 2017 I birthed this website. I’ve also served my colleagues in the industry as President of the Society of American Travel Writers, and as active members of Les Dames d’Escoffier and the Executive Women’s Golf Association.

I am passionate about the outdoors. I have a fabulous group of golfing girlfriends who get me on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail a few days a week when I’m in town. Sometimes I like wild adventures: I ride horses, snorkel and scuba dive, parachute, water ski, and drive race cars when I can. I have climbed into the Grand Canyon, snowmobiled on glaciers in Iceland, and helicoptered into Alaska’s wilderness. I have run two 26.2-mile marathons and would like to do another—if I could get off my ….. okay, you know. I may not do any of those activities exceedingly well, but I’m game to try them all again and again. I also appreciate the glories of walking down a new town’s sidewalks, stopping for tea and snacks, and ending the day over a lovely glass on wine.

Come on. Join me. We’re going to have lots of fun together.