Freeke van de Voort
I recently moved (back) to Munich (after 7 years). My current hobbies include not unpacking boxes, contemplating buying a ladder in order to hang up lamps, and exploring my new neighbourhood.
Even though I only just moved, I will be leaving Munich for a permanent position at Cardiff University in Wales. Initially I will enjoy being a Royal Society University Research Fellow. Yay!
Around the world in more than 80 days
Moving itself is not something I enjoy, but living in a new city, new country, new continent is an amazing experience and well worth the effort. I have lived in different cities in Germany and in the US for many years, have spent several months living in France and in Argentina, and semi-lived in Taiwan for a few years. Next up is the UK. I did fly around the world in less than 80 days once, when I had to go from California to Taiwan to Europe and then back to California.
Leiden, where the journey began
Not certain how best to summarize the decade of my life I spent in Leiden, but it was awesome and educational.
The early years
With a name like mine, it may not surprise you that I grew up in The Netherlands. In the neighbouring villages of Hulsel and Bladel, to be precise, in the southern Dutch province called North-Brabant. (The southern part of Brabant is in present-day Belgium, south of my Brabant, in case you were wondering about the name.) As one of the more rural areas of my wonderful country, the best parts are the not-so-wild outdoors and its friendly people.
The night sky is pretty, but I don't think I have ever been fascinated by it directly. What drew me into astronomy was learning about general relativity (and not understanding it). At the time I never thought I would pursue a career in astronomy, but there is still so much we don't understand and I'm having a lot of fun helping to figure it out.