For centuries, bubbles have fascinated artists, engineers, and scientists alike. In spite of century-long research on them, new and often surprising bubble phenomena, features, and applications keep popping up. In this paper I sketch my personal scientific bubble journey, starting with single-bubble sonoluminescence, continuing with sound emission and scattering of bubbles, cavitation, snapping shrimp, impact events, air entrainment, and surface micro- and nanobubbles, and finally arriving at effective force models for bubbles and dispersed bubbly two-phase flow. In particular, I also cover various applications of bubbles, namely, in ultrasound diagnostics, drug and gene delivery, piezoacoustic inkjet printing, immersion lithography, sonochemistry, electrolysis, catalysis, acoustic marine geophysical survey, and bubble drag reduction for naval vessels, and show how these applications crossed my way. I also try to show that good and interesting fundamental science and relevant applications are not a contradiction, but mutually stimulate each other in both directions.