I've made up worlds my whole life, the earliest I remember I was maybe 6, dictating to my grandfather a story about cowboys in the old west involved in a conspiracy. I read Neuromancer when I was 13 which changed my life, and started working on more detailed universes exploring my own philosophies and speculations for the future and alternate realities with new rules. I read cyberpunk, scifi, speculative fiction, and mystery for the most part. I went to school to make money but I explored a lot of the sciences for a general overview and then dug into linguistics.
I was trying to create a world for a text-based adventure I had been making. When I needed a name for an artifact, I was having some trouble. Then, I got an idea: Why not create a language first, then create the world afterwards? And, voila. A linguist was born.