I'm originally from the city of Belgrade/Beograd, country of... well, what used to be (Socialist Federal Republic of) Yugoslavia, then briefly (Republic of) Yugoslavia, followd by a few years of being Serbia and Montenegro, and now finally, being called just Serbia. Yes, nearly everyone is confused by this to some degree, myself included. I've lived in the US for over twelve years and have spent time on the east coast (Bennington College), west coast (Caltech) and midwest (MSU). I tred to make my Eastern European heritage and American experiences interact synergistically, making the whole greater than the some of individual parts. My slavic accent is nearly all gone now which is a shame but, in the end, I still try and remain somewhat exotic and not just an import. Nowadays, after a couple of years in the lovely, quaint Zurich, Switzerland, where I had to deal with not so lovely Swiss German, I'm living in Paris, learning more French by the day, and enjoying it tremendously.
I showed signs of healthy, all-encompasing geekiness at a young age. I was a typical book worm, regular at the local library, and was always the happyest when I got books for my birthday. Early on I realized that math and natural sciences were not just easy for me but also a lot of fun. Biology was in that mix too, starting from age 5 when I declared that I no longer want to be a fireman but a botanist when I grow up. After college I made a living as a computer scientist and gained a useful bag of tricks which I still use. A splash of arts and culture with my science is a must, be it a good play or singing in a chorus. Sports in general are not my thing, but I love downhill skiing and pretty much any extreme sport (think bungee jumping or sky diving). Overall, to maintan focus in my work I need diversity in my life.
I still I want to be a scientist when I grow up, but I'm also realizing that there are many ways to keep helping push boundaries of science beyond the classical academic career. In the end, my only real career requirement is that I continue enjoying my work at least as much as I do now.