After many years working with data and databases in the nonspatial way, I read about GIS through magazines my office abstracted. I was attracted to the combination of the technical and artistic, database/graphics aspect; primarily, though, it was the great potential GIS has to make the world better.
I have always been some type of activist, volunteer, and/or greenie. I sold my place and moved to go back to school to study it.
I now have degrees in geography, GIS, and web technologies, and use GIS in restoration and management of military lands. The Mojave is a difficult and isolated environment, but it can grow on you.