20 years ago, I started my nomadic life, I have no regrets

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Something personal today…

Twenty years ago today, without putting too many thoughts and with the bare minimum of preparation, I left France, my native country, for an adventurous travel around the world. I had no idea where I was really going and what to expect. The 23-year old version of myself had no idea that 20 years later I will be still living abroad writing a lengthy post on a social media web site about it.

13501562_10155045572063009_1620527804880822701_nThe world has changed enormously since I left (remember the birth of Internet? I was there). Everything was different, my native country was still embracing the concept of a European Union (remember the Francs? I was there as well) and had no ideas about the major environmental and political issues that are today in the mind of most of us. Similarly my life is equally very different today and certainly not what I imagine it would be. I did not have enough imagination to think about a life in San Francisco with a wonderful family, friends from everywhere in the world, and a job that is more a passion than a burden.

I have no regrets, I have no desire to go back in time and change this decision, even if it did look very crazy at the time and yes, I lost of piece of myself when I entered in this plane for Mexico. I have filled it up quickly over the years and I am thankful to have met so many people in those places where I built a new life. I am glad that I got the opportunity of discovering the beauty of our planet and expanding my horizon of thoughts by speaking foreign languages and learning new skills.

I realized today while looking at my list of Facebook friends that a lot of us are immigrants (or “expats”). We probably share this common feeling of emptiness together with personal achievements. Sometimes we fantasize and wonder “what if” we had stayed in our country, but ultimately we realize that “the world is ours to explore” and we probably made the best choice.

Clear skies,

Franck M.


About Franck Marchis

Dr. Franck Marchis is a Senior Researcher and Chair of the Exoplanet Group at the Carl Sagan Center of the SETI Institute since July 2007. Over the past 19 years, he has dedicated his research to the study of our solar system, specifically the search for asteroids with moons, using mainly ground-based telescopes equipped with adaptive optics. More recently he has been also involved in the definition of new generation of AOs for 8 -10 m class telescopes and future Extremely Large Telescopes. He has developed algorithms to process and enhance the quality of images, both astronomical and biological. His currently involved in the Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey, which consists in imaging exoplanets using an extreme AO system for the Gemini South telescope. This new instrument is be capable of imaging and recording spectra of young Jupiter-like exoplanets orbiting around nearby stars.

2 Responses to 20 years ago, I started my nomadic life, I have no regrets

  1. Boubekeur says:

    Dear Franck

    We are about the same age and 20 years ago I left France to live in Dubai, and the what if ? came after 3 years and from then came back to our nice France.
    What if ? yes what if ?
    I am passionate and since the age of 1 I am looking after stars, galaxies and love infinite figures, irrational expectations from something coming from somewhere. Instead of following astrophysics studies and concepts, I prefered the irrational figures of Economics and business, another love…
    I am today very enthousiast about my Consultant Company I am running in Nantes now since one year and from time to time when I look after Hertzsprung Russel classification, a movie such Contact, or when I am following Kepler and Rosetta crazy challenge, I think : what if ?
    The what if gave me enough strenght to move from a h<such a nice and secured company as Safran (you know Sagem isn't it ? we manufactured nice stuffs such as astrophysics mirror and devices for Rosetta) to conduct and drive my life through another way, another road (or offroad :-)). Driving his own life ! that's the point. I have a wonderful family, friends and passion is conducting every day my life. The main word here is travel, nomadic, moving, discovery, sharing, see what's beyond the hill. If I had been a doctor I would most probably work for MSF, if I was a photographer I would have been reporter, etc …: a "nomadic" one. That is most probably the main common point to every wonderful people forming the so called nomadic-expat-citizen-of- the-world-family. Whatever the what if ? you would have traveled again and again until you come back to your first landscape and discover it with a foreigner or new born eye !
    Continue to enjoy life as I am doing and dont' be afraid to put yourself out of the box !


    • Hello Boub.
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on my personal post. Yes we are not alone in the nomadic world.
      There is a lot to do to make this world a better place, and Europe is certainly the center of gravity of changes.

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