I remember the day very well, a cold Tuesday in January 1989, and Pearson International Airport was bustling with travellers. I was amongst them, an inconspicuous 18-year-old middle-class Canadian boarding the plane as if it was a frequent occurrence. A seven-day vacation in France, that was the plan. I often wonder if I had known then what I do now—would I have boarded that plane? The trip lasted five years and it was no vacation, for within 24 hours of boarding the plane, I had become a member of the infamous French Foreign Legion. Life would never be the same again.