Serious question - how does one learn basics of higher level networking, beyond stuff I can mess with on my local machine?

Today, I was completely caught off guard when I had to set up BGP-based loadbalancing on a machine and I just... Didn't know how the whole topology looks or behaves...

Once I go beyond the server in the network, I tend to get lost. Especially around how routing works and stuff like that... All I know is my machine has one or more gateways to which it sends data going to specific network segments...

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