Having made his international debut against the USA in November 2004, the Ulsterman felt he was beginning to stagnate with his hometown club and that a change of scenery was necessary in order to move forward.
Despite being voted both the Ulster and Ireland Player of the Year for the 2007/2008 season, Bowe signed for an Ospreys side searching for domestic and European glory and packed with international stars.
"The move to the Ospreys was crucial," said Bowe.
"Things weren't going well for me at Ravenhill and I had to move on.
"Thankfully, I managed to hit a bit of form but we've got a class backline of players at the Ospreys.
"The move got me back into the Ireland set-up and it's been vital to getting me to where I am today."
Exactly where he is today is at the pinnacle of the British and Irish game.
A Grand Slam winner with Ireland only last month and now a 2009 British and Irish Lion, Bowe is in the form of his life and clearly enjoying his moment in the sun.
"I had a great year winning the Grand Slam with Ireland but getting the Lions call-up is really special.
"The Lions is the pinnacle of international rugby and is something you can only dream about. You set yourself goals like playing for your country but the Lions is extra special.
"I have memories of the 1997 tour and I looked up to the likes of Keith Wood and Jeremy Davidson in that team. It's surreal to be put in the same bracket now."
With Ospreys full back Lee Byrne and fellow wing Shane Williams also named in Ian McGeechan's 37-man party, Bowe could be part of an all-Ospreys back three when the Lions take on the Springboks in the first Test in Durban on June 20.
"That would be fantastic," added Bowe.
"If I can team up with Shane and Lee in the back three that would be the ideal scenario.
"Shane and Lee are definitely up there to be starting so it is up to me to get my place to be starting as well."