I did just that a few years ago. Quit my cushy job, was tending to mom in her last years, was shopping a boat (pretty much decided on Cheoy Lee 43) had gone to see it and then as I'm watching my mom die, my bud died on me, leaving me without a job, without my partner, not into single handling, you know, basically fucked.
Then mom died. I tried traveling by land a little but didn't like it alone. Now I'm in my 50s and I need a new career. Careers last longer than people. Maybe I'll try that again in my 70s or 80s if I don't have dementia by then. But even then I'm thinking instead of doing it with support, maybe as an elder volunteer with the Peace Corp or something like that. And I'm thinking now of going into a helping field so I have experience to offer them later.
I can be adventurous with someone I love but not so much on my own. And the two guys I've loved died so I just can't count on love anymore. It's the workadayworld for me. I'm gonna work till I drop. Most everyone in my family does that. The only one who didn't is my father and he's not a very happy guy. He's done basically nothing for the last 25 years. Fuck that. I'd kill myself.
As to jeopardizing a career? I don't know about that because I've changed twice already, each time starting again at the bottom. I don't give a shit about that. I think work is real important to keep the mind going. But 20 or 30 years of doing anything can get old. So what's it matter if you change it up some. One person who I admired the most was a dear friend who had about five careers in his life. He was a practicing psychiatrist when he died in his 80s. Never stopped working. Very happy, smart guy.
My problem now though is I'm scared to death of age discrimination. So I've got to get my bod in the best shape I can before hitting the streets so they have one less thing to reject me on.
Another idea for you to consider is taking jobs in your career in other parts of the world. That strikes me as ideal if possible because the changing up would keep the one career more interesting than doing the same thing in the same place year after year.
Another idea would be doing volunteer work around the world in your career and then simply add all that to your resume when you want to settle down again.