Photography by Samantha Nandez (Web / Instagram)

André Mack is perhaps the world’s coolest sommelier. After being named Best Young Sommelier in America, plus years of working with some of the top restaurants across the country, André was still hungry to learn more about the world of wine. To satisfy his thirst, he started making his own wines under the moniker Mouton Noir Wines.

André has traveled all over on his quest to develop the best wines, though he can most often be found in Portland, Brooklyn, or somewhere in between. Follow André’s grape-fuelled adventures on Instagram.

I’m André Mack, and this is How I Travel.

André Mack

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned through all your travels

To make sure that I allow for mental capacity for unforeseeable delays and derailments because it is inevitable that shit happens!

What’s one personal change you’ve experienced as a result of your travels?

I believe traveling as much as I do has made me a better planner and organizer. Not that I follow a strict schedule or itinerary — because I do like to allow some “roaming” time — but I have become fond of doing my due diligence and research.

Also my travel has really help me learn empathy. It’s not like I didn’t have it before, but by experiencing new cultures you have a better understanding of other views.

I don’t travel to “visit” I travel to “live” in those places because I want to have the most authentic experiences as possible.

André Mack

 What do you love most about traveling?

The anticipation of visiting places that I’ve only read about, and connecting with locals to reveal off-the-beaten path treasures. Immersing myself in a culture I find fascinating also leads to new food finds!

The world is truly a big place, but it’s through my travels that my world has also become a smaller place: the more people I meet and connect with, the larger/smaller my world becomes at the same time.

What’s the one travel experience/story that has had the biggest impact on you?

I would have to say my recent trip to Cuba has really had a lasting impact on me.

We arrived at the Havana airport four hours early by mistake so we waited in line for an hour and a half to see if we could change our flight. So after some negotiating we were offered the opportunity to change our flight for $700 but only in cash. Since it’s illegal for any US bank to authorize any transactions in the country of Cuba we found ourselves searching every nook and cranny of our bags for said monies. At last we found the money and changed our flights but it was a stark reminder to not take our freedom for granted.


 

André’s 11 Favorite Travel Items

My Canon G7 X

André Mack
Hands-down one of the best daily diaries/vlogging cameras.
GET YOUR CANON G7 X | $575

My DJI Phantom 4 Drone

André Mack
Getting a bird’s-eye view helps you get a lay of the land.
GET YOUR PHANTOM 4 DRONE | $1000

My Vinsic External Battery Pack

André Mack
You never know when you need it!
GET YOUR BATTERY PACK | $40

My Rimowa Carry-On

André Mack
Beautiful, rugged and small enough to ensure you only carry the essentials.
GET YOUR RIMOWA CARRY-ON | $100+

My Nike Runners

André Mack
One of the best ways I get to know my surroundings is on my morning run.
GET YOUR NIKES | $75+

My Passport

André Mack
Because you’ll never know where your adventures might take you!
GO ON A TRIP | $50+

My Patagonia Vest

André Mack
Lightweight with a lifetime guarantee, because you never know what the climate will be on the airplane.
GET YOUR PATAGONIA VEST | $200+

My Aesop Deodorant

André Mack
When you have limited access to water, this is the best way to stay fresh.
GET YOUR AESOP DEODORANT | $35

My Joby GorillaPod

André Mack
It’s the world’s most versatile tripod/selfie stick!
GET YOUR GORILLAPOD | $20+

My YETI Water Bottle

André Mack
When you drink as much as I do, it’s very important to stay hydrated.
GET YOUR YETI BOTTLE | $30

My Two Sets of Headphones

André Mack
I carry two sets of headphones with me – one standard pair and a wireless option (great for working out).
GET YOUR POWERBEATS HEADPHONES | $200


André in 60 Seconds

André Mack