2001 I left my job as Team Lead in the Customer Support at a national phone company and went for a sabbatical in New Zealand. When back I started learning programming and after some hard months ( hard because I was studying hard and working almost for free) I got a full-time job and since then I switched companies almost regularly every 2-3 years. ( my current company is the exception but since I changed teams/projects and languages many times it feels like it anyway).
Everybody said I was crazy quitting my job like that - but that was what I wanted, just travel, explore new possibilities and rebuild my professional life. In the end it paid off :-)
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