Fantastic story. I am not at the same level but I went through about the same things to learn more about Linux.
A fantastic story. Mine is not that colorful. I live in an Asian metropolis and I'm 67. I started in the days of DOS with an Apple II. I still have XP on dual boot on the two old single-core PCs that I use at home every day (right now too). They're still running speedily and smoothly with an upgrade or two of the ram and cpu.
I use Xubuntu 14.04 to 15.10 on different PCs, notebooks and netbooks. All my work, etc. is 99% on Linux and about the only time I boot into XP is to check and fix the NTFS partitions on internal and external drives to maintain compatibility with other users who use Windows and with my XP OS.