Todd Mack has been to Spain, Costa Rica, and Africa.
Courtesy | Todd Mack

What is your favorite place you have traveled to?

The place I go to the most is Spain, and I love Spain. This summer I also went to Costa Rica, and it was pretty great. I had a ton of fun in Costa Rica with some stu­dents on study abroad.

What is a secret talent of yours?

I like to tool around on the guitar and ukulele, and I like to run. I can juggle, but I’m not world-class at anything.

What would you con­sider to be one of your greatest adventures?

I think being a husband and father is the greatest adventure. We’ve lived all over and we’ve done lots of stuff, and had lots of chal­lenges, raising human beings to become what we hope will be good human beings. 

If you could have any super­power, what would it be?

I think healing factor would be cool. It’d be really nice to be able to heal quickly from injuries. Maybe I’m just thinking about that because I hurt my leg a couple weeks ago and if I was Spider Man, I’d already be better. 

What is your favorite holiday?


If you could change one thing about American culture, what would you choose?

It would be great if Amer­icans would travel more abroad, and, along with that, if they would learn lan­guages and really study other cul­tures. I also wish that things weren’t so divided. I had a teacher one time at Stanford, and he walked into a class, and he looked like he’d seen a ghost. This was during the pres­i­dential election of 2008 with McCain and Obama. He goes, “I just realized for the first time that you could be a good hearted and intel­ligent person and not vote for Barack Obama and the thought had never occurred to me before now.”

What is one place you have not traveled to but want to travel to?

The first thing that comes to mind is Machu Picchu in Peru. I would love to go there. I’d also like to go to Yucatan in southern Mexico, I’d love to go to Argentina, the Caribbean around the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. And maybe Japan too. I’ve been studying Japanese for three years and have never been to Japan. 

If you could dis­cover the answer to any question, what question would you choose?

This is not the deepest thing in the world, but I think that there is life out there. And people will read that and think that I’m a tinfoil hat person or that I think there’s little green mon­sters out there or some­thing. But that’s not what I’m talking about. The chance that we’re com­pletely alone, or the only of God’s cre­ations with any kind of sen­tience, I don’t buy it. I think there’s stuff out there. 

If you could choose any instrument to be an expert at playing, what would you choose?

I play the piano. I’m not an expert at the piano, but I think it would be cool to be really, really good at the piano or maybe the guitar. But if I had to choose a com­pletely new instrument, it would be really fun to play the drums. 

What is some­thing that is on your bucket list?

I’ve been to Africa, but it’d be cool to go on a safari in Africa.

If you could hang out with one his­torical figure for a day, who would you choose?

Besides Jesus, the Founding Fathers. I think it’d be inter­esting to see what they were really like. You wonder, would it be cool to go out to dinner with George and Martha? And then, you know, artists. People like Cer­vantes, who wrote Don Quixote, he would be an inter­esting person to just talk to because his per­sonal life was really com­pli­cated, but at the same time he was such a genius. 

What, in your opinion, is the best genre of music?

I’m not really a genre guy. I like good music. Good country music is good music, good clas­sical music is good music, good new age music is good music, good pop is good music and good classic rock can be good. 

If you woke up one day with enough money to buy any­thing, what would your first few stops be?

The bank to pay off debt would be the first stop. I mean, I think I can only think of prac­tical things. My car is getting pretty long in the tooth, maybe I could get a new car.  My car is a 2003, and it has a lot of miles. My other car is 2006, but it has almost 300,000 miles on it. That’d be good to get a couple of new cars

What is one of your favorite pieces of literature?

I mean the first thing that always comes to mind is “Don Quixote,” but that’s only because it’s the greatest novel ever written. There’s another book that I really like a lot and is quickly becoming maybe one of my favorite pieces of lit­er­ature. It’s called “The Time of the Doves.” It’s a Catalan novel from the 1960s.

What is one of the biggest ben­efits of learning a second language?

There’s a theory that says that knowledge is tied to lan­guage. When you increase your ability to describe things and to engage with the world through a com­pletely dif­ferent lan­guage, you’re opening yourself up to all kinds of knowledge and under­standing about the world that was closed to you.