I started Web Programming with Perl in the late 90s and then moved to PHP which was already getting better support and growing into into a larger eco-system.
In the early days, PHP didn't have a great reputation and many servers were written in ASP/Perl instead. My first PHP programs were simple scripts run by CRONs.
My first PHP web project was privateproperty.com.sg, initially written in plain PHP and then rebuilt with Codeigniter and Wordpress (for the property blog).
Eventually, I created RealtAsia with Kohana which was a modern version of Codeigniter at the time.
Soon after, Symfony came along but it was a little verbose for my taste. Laravel, however, seemed to be a summation of them all. If you looked at its code, you'd see bits & pieces of these other frameworks everywhere it made sense.
When it comes to PHP, I prefer curating individual modules from packagist and installing the well-written ones with Composer, creating a custom "framework" based on the needs of each project.
Why would you stick to any one framework anyway, there has never been a one size fits all. I've done some great things with PHP and it will always be part of my DNA. Quoting one of the great Kohana devs, I leave you with this:
Choosing a framework without looking at the code is like buying a new sofa without sitting on it.