You can only start all over when you leave the old behind.
By suddenly renaming something the Old, that for years had been the Present - my job, it feels like my life turned upside down. My job had determined who I was over the last few years. I committed my time, energy and love to a place, the people, the work. When I told strangers about my job, I also told them about me.
Of course, not everyone sees it that way. People have jobs that don't say a thing about what they like or find important in life. People who work at IKEA don't necessarily like to arrange or build things or love Scandinavia. But in my case, by leaving my job, I now don't belong there anymore, I'm not a part of a place that felt like home for such a long time.
There's no better way to separate the New from the Old than leaving. In this case by traveling to the other side of the world for a few weeks (which lead to envy from people at home who have to work and to pity from other travelers who are on the road for months).
The problem with traveling though, is that you are constantly determining your identity. The first things people ask when you meet them are: who are you and what do you do? I still have to get used to talk about my new occupation, and I always feel a little insecure when I tell them. But it is a relief to see that no-one questions me and everyone just accepts it when I tell them.
They already believe me. Now I have to start believing it.