What an amazing experience and valuable lesson for you to learn at such a young age. It takes some people well into retirement years before they are able to be aware of what it means to live in the moment.
If it were just myself I would do things differently and live an entirely different lifestyle but I have a family to care and provide for. My husband and I have taken small steps in areas where we can live in more simplicity and connect with ourselves, one another and nature.
I wish you the best.