Where are you from?

I’m born in 🇲🇦 Morocco and I grew up in 🇫🇷 France. In France, I lived in many different cities: Montesson, Nanterre, Bois d’Arcy, Jouy-le-Moutier, Clamart, Boissy-Saint-Léger and Montpellier (if you’re not French they might not all ring a bell, just dropping them here for all the homies)! I guess that shaped the nomad in me at an early age 😉

What do you do?

I’m a 💻 software engineer so people tend to think I just write code all day long. Even if there’s a part of truth, I always try to have a great work/life balance. My first gig abroad was in Beijing. Back then I was working on a CMS (something like Wordpress) but the twist was that to test our own CMS, we had a website called WeLiveInBeijing.com. It grew to be one of the biggest social networks in town and that sure was a lot of fun! 🎉

How are you nomadic?

I left France back in 2011 and haven’t looked back since. I’ve mainly lived in 🇨🇳 China and 🇹🇭 Thailand since then, exploring Asia one city/country at a time 🌏 I’m more of a nomadic expat’ in that I like to have a city as a homebase (Beijing, Chiang Mai, Bangkok) where I hold permanent residence. This enables me to go travel easily and often.

I also remember being based in Chiang Mai back in 2014 when @levelsio first launched Nomad List. I somehow inherited a “founding member” badge there.

I guess all that combined makes me pretty nomadic! 😜

What’s your favourite part of being a nomad?

Well, it gives you a chance to do and see things as well as meet people you would not have if you’d stayed home. I’ve stopped counting but I think I’ve met people from virtually all over through the years. You also get introduced to different cultures and customs. It’s really eye-opening to understand that what you once considered normal life is in fact just a drop in the pool of possible ways of life that exist around the world.

I don’t have a specific favourite part, but I know I’m grateful for all the incredible things I get to experience by choosing this way-of-life: waking up on a boat to the beautiful scenaries of 🇻🇳 Halong Bay; getting to spend a wild night in the infamous Chung King Mansion of 🇭🇰 Hong Kong; falling in love with the vibes of George Town in 🇲🇾 Penang…

I’ve always been curious by nature and I just can’t stop discovering new places, meeting new people and living new experiences. Being nomad is just my favourite part of being nomad (that’s deep, ain’t it).

What’s your least favourite part?

Well, I have quite a few stories with 👮‍♂️ immigration officers and consulates, again recently in 🇸🇬 Singapore and 🇮🇩 Bali, mainly because I have a Moroccan passport. Being nomadic with a “weak” passport can be a tough thing, so be ready if you’re in the same situation! 💪

Another thing I’m still having difficulties with gravitates around friends, relationships and 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 family. I had some major fuckups along the way, which I don’t particularly associate with being nomadic, but being far away from the people with whom you have true bonds with can make things even more difficult when life hits you. If anybody reading this relates, feel free to reach out if you want to!

What’s your craziest story?

I’m gonna skip the crazy stories related to partying as they’re not specific to being a nomad, but there’s that one night that started in Thailand and randomly finished in 🇰🇭 Cambodia which is worth a mention.

Otherwise, in no specific order: I ended up in the 🏆 Guiness World Records book; met Iron Man; been interviewed by the FSB in 🇷🇺 Moscow; met my 💔 ex-wife; co-produced a 🎥 rap music video; got asked by some angry Chinese police to delete 📸 pictures I took in the middle of a big anti-Japan manifestation (#thuglife).

Overall, I couldn’t say it any better than Ryan already has in a previous post: “Crazy quickly becomes the norm when traveling and living in other countries”.

What’s next for you?

Well, I have two upcoming things I’m excited about!
First, my mom is coming to Thailand for a whole month 😍 That’s going to be awesome! We’re gonna be able to tour around together, celebrate Songkran (her first!) and, more importantly, spend my birthday together for the first time in years.
Second, I just finished working on an app called PoseyCo (soon to be released) and I’m now getting ready to start a new venture with yet another interesting and talented team, which is just bliss. ✨

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