It was somewhere in my head since school days since there is a sense of awe associated with services specially in north india and if you are reasonably ok in studies everyone expects you to clear it. I had a vague appreciation and inclination but it was only during graduation final year that I finally decided to go for it due to multiplicity of reasons. Desire to do something worthwhile and big, sense of responsibility towards society ( I know it sounds cliched but it was so), happiness it would bring to my family and wellwishers to quote few.
Before Noida, I was at Rihand during the initial phase of my prep and believe me its one of THE remotest in India. You need to travel 220km to watch a movie 😛 it used to be an open air jail of the royalities. But digging info is no big deal in internet era. And most importantly, one should be in touch with serious aspirants and share/discuss strategies,booklist etc. as much as possible. Travel to coaching hubs of Delhi once in a while if you feel too lagged behind. Even the chaiwala and paanwala will be able to give you strategies out there 😉