I'm glad that you have managed to pull yourself out of the hole that you were in. From what you have said it seems like the main thing that helped you get better was that you recognised your problem before it completely swallowed you. So you were still able to make those sorts of decisions about your life that could help you pull yourself out even further. My descent into depression is usually so quick that before I know anything about it, I am rock bottom, and incapable of making any positive decisions, or any decisions at all. And even when I try to do something, I don't have the skills anymore to make these things work. I remember one period of depression where I had just left a job to move to a new area with my other half. I applied for lots of jobs and never got a single interview. However once I started to get better, I got interviews for practically every job I applied for. Too depressed to even fill out an application form properly.
Because my depression is mainly seasonal, the upside is that I almost always get better around april time and it disappears as quickly as it came. Its very hard to see the significance of this in the middle of January when I can't see the point of living my life, but I try to keep telling myself about it anyway as much as I can.
I hope you manage to keep the black dog at bay in future and good luck with your travels.