I never wanted to be a space explorer, I wanted to be a space tourist.
All those depictions of space missions, of spending weeks cramped in a tiny cabin surrounded with floating bags of poop, sniffing farts and staring out a dessert-plate-sized porthole into blackness, did nothing to persuade me. When I was a kid they promised me that by the time I grew up space travel would be ubiquitous, mundane, and most of all luxurious; that by the year 2000 we would have hotels in orbit, we would party on the Moon, pick up a ticket and your overnight bag and zoom, that space flight technology would keep advancing at the same speed it did during the space race because of course the space race was a noble endeavor aimed at the betterment of all mankind, and not a giant dick waving contest between the blocs, and that it wouldn't stop dead the moment the cold war shifted onto other fields. Well the year 2000 came and went and the best we can do regarding space flight is to fling a few billionaires into low orbit (and bring them back, much to everyone's dismay); no hotels in orbit, no clubs on the Moon, space flight still consists of old farts.
But I'm rambling.