As a child my father would send me out to work. All of us in the family had to find work to support his many vices. At first, I learned how to beg but I found that I did not relish the glances from my marks, be they of pity or contempt.
I learned a new trade after that, helping street vendors sell their wares. Since monies were scarce in my family, I enjoyed working for the street food vendors the most. I learned many skills during that time, foremost among them I've a wonderful recipe for wood fired trout topped with grapes and wine.
Now that I am of age, I have decided to seek my fortunes on my own, journeying wherever the stars might guide me. The time I spent as a youth listening to others tales as I begged and those I overheard from the street vendors' customers aids me still. I sing and tell stories for my supper and lodgings. Sometimes I fare well, but other times I have to sleep under the stars. This life suits me just fine, I would have no other.
My sci-fi/fantasy obsession started with "Stranger in a Strange Land" by Heinlein when I was 11 years old. I haven't looked back since.