In plain, non-highfaluting speak, here's what it came down to.
I left my HR career behind because I recognized it for it's blood sucking, hope crushing, management rubber stamping reality. I wasn't brave enough to give up on it, I begged, I pleaded, I was ignored, and spat on (if overzealous recruiters firing off questions counts). I don't like to give up, and there was an element of my hitherto identity being in jeopardy at play.
The things that made my exploration possible? I lived a frugal life early in my career, I lived with family when I could, I roomed with 5 guys in a 2 bedroom flat at one point. I'm the kind of person that's scared of a house, because every additional room means I'm that far away from a human, I might as well be in a grave. I paid down all my debts, all of them, and saved the majority of my cash. I stayed active and healthy, not completely influenced by me, but I don't drink alcohol, smoke anything, or stay up too late.
Boring life? Maybe for you, but I basically earned some health credits that I'm currently spending in my 30s, when my body isn't as pliable as it used to be (that's another post).
I think I'm writing too much here, so instead, I'll write out a list of things, and you can tell me what I should expand on.