(Not) the About Me Slide

Me with a camera at Spa-Francorchamps racetrack.
I was looking for a photo that touches as many of the article's topics as possible, and this seemed to include the most; me, a camera (photography), a Boeing t-shirt (aviation), Raidillon de l'Eau Rouge at Spa-Fracorchamps (Belgium and Formula 1), and a watch with sailing timers. Made by a very good friend, ZZ.

So far, I have done hundreds of presentations and lectures. Often one of the first slides is where you introduce yourself, and the story is almost always a career deep dive. Where did I work, what is my expertise, and what were my responsibilities and achievements? Some people add a line about their hobbies or family, but it rarely goes any further.

Admittedly, it does make sense in a business environment. It is safe to keep the introduction’s context close to the presentation’s topic, and listing one’s achievements and experiences can establish authority and get the audience interested.

But does it really best describe the person who is presenting? Is it always all about “work”?

Someone recently told me that, when meeting new people on travels, he never asks what they do for a living, as this inevitably puts people into categories and leads conversation in predictable directions. It is an excellent approach, so I will avoid introducing myself the way I usually do when presenting.

Instead, I will think about things and topics that describe me well. After all, these things will likely be mentioned in the blog sooner or later, so explaining where they come from might be helpful.

So, without any particular order;

Countries, cities, homes

I’m a Croatian from Zagreb. My parents are both from the Croatian coast, and I spent much of my childhood in a small Dalmatian village (Igrane, close to Split). Both places are a big part of my identity, and I love them with all my heart. I do my best to spend as much time there as possible.

12ish years ago, my wife and I moved to Brussels, Belgium. We wanted to work and live in an international environment. In that sense, Brussels delivered spectacularly well, as people are from everywhere, and you never really feel like a foreigner. Wherever you go, you get to hear many different languages, and little kids that speak three languages fluently are nothing special. I adore that about this place. Generally, people are friendly, business is serious, there are many lovely places you can go to, the food is excellent though not as good as Croatian :), French is difficult to learn well, the city should be cleaner, the weather could be better, and the traffic is absolutely horrible.

Ever since we moved to Belgium, people often ask me where I feel at home; Zagreb or Brussels, and the answer is; both. In fact, I feel at home in Igrane as well.

For me, home is not necessarily a single place. It is where you organize a part of your life, have a place you can call your own, and where you feel a certain way. Yes, having all your friends and family close to you would be great, but that is impossible even when you have a “single place home.”

I also love traveling. There is no place in the world I would not like to visit, but I always want to return to Scotland, Ireland, Italy, and the US. I plan to do photography-focused trips to these countries soon.


When I was 7 years old, my father took me to a dentist to have my first tooth fixed. I didn’t make any fuss about it, so he took me to a store to pick an award for myself. What caught my eye was a scale model of a plane (An24 if you’re also an avgeek :)). So, we took it home, he assembled it for me, and I’ve been hooked ever since. I didn’t become a professional pilot for reasons more complex than this short article allows. Still, I stayed interested in aviation and ultimately became a private pilot (much) later.

I have often wondered what I liked so much about aviation, and since becoming a pilot, I realized it. It was never about flying or traveling. For example, I’m not much attracted by flying in a hot air balloon or a paraglider, nor do I get super excited by the idea of “going somewhere on a trip with a plane.” For me, it is 100% about planes and piloting. I love controlling the airplane, being precise with my “stick and rudder, ” knowing the systems, understanding the airspace and the weather, navigating, and talking to controllers. A plane trip to a cool place or flying around EBCI (Charleroi, my “home” airport) is equally satisfying for me. I’m happy as long as I am in or near an airplane.

Sailing, ships, and the sea.

I’ve spent a big part of my childhood close to the sea. My grandfather was a fisherman and ran a taxi boat service in his later years. It all started then, even though I wasn’t aware of it as a kid. I love sailing, ships, boats, water sports, marine life, seafood, colors, sounds, and sea smells. I love looking at the sea and could do it for hours without boredom. Every place can be so captivating and dramatically different from one moment to another if there is some water near it. The shoreline itself is often mesmerizing, and I love watching waves roll pebbles or hit a rock. So yes, I love everything about the sea. Except for sunbathing on the beach and, honestly, I’m not too crazy about plain swimming either.

IT stuff

I am a techie. A computer engineer by education but also very “enthusiastic” about my gadgets. Newer is not automatically better, nor do I believe that tools make a craftsman, but technology is exciting and fun. I don’t see a point in stubbornly sticking to the old ways, and I quickly adopt new tools or processes. I own and regularly use Macs, Windows PCs, and even Linux. I’m writing this in a cafe on an iPad as I prefer it to any portable computer when focusing on a single task like writing. I am not exclusive nor a fanboy of any particular platform or company. Different horses for different courses sounds very true to me…

I have always been on the system integration side rather than the development side of IT. I can create some code to finish a task quicker, but hard-core programming was never my thing.

I Work as a…

The 12 years I’ve spent at Microsoft were really crucial in many ways. In addition to traveling the world, meeting fascinating people, and making friends, I have also discovered and mastered process and service management (ITSM). It is still my core competency and the basis for my own business. It is a complex topic to explain, but, in short, it is about effective ways to organize people to deliver a service based on technical systems. For example, how to manage risks or changes in an (IT) organization.

With the recent emergence of small drones, I decided to take the challenge of running my own business and working closer to aviation. Drones are interestingly positioned. They are based on computer technologies and developed (quickly) like computers, but they fly and are regulated like aircraft. Aviation and IT are different on so many levels, creating a specific set of challenges for mixing these “flying cameras” with old-school manned aircraft.

With my IT, process management, and aviation knowledge background, I am well positioned to deal with that duality of drones. I currently run a drone consulting business focusing on regulatory requirements and risk management in complex drone operations (i.e., SORA). Of course, I also use drones as a photographer.


I’m not a huge sports fanatic, but some I like are worth mentioning. As a regular activity, I prefer cycling and hiking. And skiing. I used to train kayaking in high school, and it is still my preferred physical activity while spending summers in Croatia. I also played tennis, but I more or less stopped after university. Since my daughter started playing, I realized that I still have it in my muscle memory, so I will be doing it again, if for nothing else but for some father-daughter fun. I started golf and liked it a lot but stopped after moving to Belgium. Would like to play it again but have yet to make any active plans.
I also adore sailing, but, as mentioned, it is far more than just a sport for me.
As a spectator, I love technology sports like Formula 1 and advanced sailing regattas like SailGP and the America’s Cup. I love the combined teams of athletes, constructors, and strategists competing together, and I follow the races regularly. Like most Croatians, I love football. Contrary to most, I also like cricket. Weird, I know.


This is a photography blog, so it deserves a separate article(s). Stay tuned.

My people

Last but not least, there are important and dear people that mean a lot to me. There are many, and it would only be possible to write about it by going too far.

However, I will mention the most influential. My parents, because there is a big part of them in everything I do and love. My wife, the best supporter anyone can ever have, and my daughter, my biggest inspiration and motivation.

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