Chuck Thompson, travel writer and author of "To Hellholes and Back" and "Smile When You're Lying," sat down with HuffPost Travel to talk about his journeys in the southern United States for his new book due out next year.
Thompson, who appreciates resorts but is "fine to just sit on my ass and drink a beer and not talk to anybody" while on vacation, wanted to explore the source of the South's conservative mores as they compare to those of the rest of the US. He says, "I'm still one of those people that sees the South as a nation within a nation."
He's trying to put in a cumulative year in the South to work on his book. "I'm not claiming to know everything about the South," he says. "I approach all my books from my perspective. I can only write about my experience."
Thompson's travels have taken him to "hellholes" such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo (which he calls a legitimate hellhole), Disney World in Orlando, Mexico City and India.
Kentucky's Creationist Museum was also a stop. He was surprised to see that instead of using the Bible to refute evolution, as he expected, "it was like a big dinosaur park."
Thompson also dropped in to Wednesday night service at a Baptist church in Mobile, Alabama., hung around at bars and baseball fields, and simply spent time talking to anybody that wanted to chat.
Watch the video above to hear more of Thompson's thoughts on the American South and travel.