what's one experience that now you look back on made you think "wow, that really changed me." and it what way did it change you?

Disclaimer: My answer is cliche. I know this and accept it.

The morning after my last final at college in 1999 I boarded a plane to London with my backpack, a couple grand (mostly in traveler's checks, of course), a new pair of fancy hiking boots that could pass for "going out" shoes, a wool sweater, a couple pairs of jeans and some t-shirts, socks and undies. What was supposed to be this one-off transition from school to career-life turned out to flip my life upside-down.

Not right away - but sort of.

I'll spare you all of the pretentious details but the gist is that those 6 weeks that I was Eurailing/hosteling were the best 6 weeks of my life at that time - and it made me question EVERYTHING about my value system up to that point.

I didn't have any of the shit that I'd killed myself during school to buy. I worked full-time graveyard shift for 4 years during school. Work from 11pm-7am and then full-time school all day and just enough sleep when I could fit it in. I'd bought a house. Furnished it. Car. New golf clubs. Etc. Etc. And here I was, with none of this shit and having the best time of my life.

It took me awhile before I fully threw in the towel on trying my best to be a cog in Corporate America but I should have known all along that a regular path wasn't going to work for me.

And yes, it's cliche, but it all started with that one short post-graduation solo backpacking trip.

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