Making Your 90-year-old Self Proud

Moveable Feast + Paper Planes Retreat in Chiang Mai

At the risk of sounding cliché, a travel quote made me move to Thailand.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did so. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

While it may seem tired and overused now, the first time I read this quote it stopped me in my tracks. I had been thinking in circles for months about making a move, knowing wholeheartedly that I wanted to quit my job and move abroad but also not knowing where I would begin or when would be the ‘right’ time to go.

As I read the quote though, I thought, “That’s it.” I knew it was time to make a change and make a leap. It had been two years of dreaming up an exit plan…and I could easily envision it being another two years – four, six, eight – before I actually did anything.

It was true – thinking about looking back on my life I would be more disappointed and regret what I didn’t do rather than what I did do, regardless of the outcome.

Fast forward a decade later and I certainly don’t regret the decisions I made but I still find myself in the same thought patterns, mulling over ideas or dreams or changes and wondering if they’re the right thing without actually taking action.

Sometimes it’s about work or where to move to next or even if I should splurge on adding avocado to my order. Other times it’s deciding whether or not to make a memorable experience happen even if it may not be the most convenient thing to do.

Living your best life

That’s where the 90-year-old test comes in.

When I’m 90, how would I look back on this moment or experience or decision?

Will it matter to me when I’m 90 that I spent some extra money 60 years ago for a special experience? Or will it matter more that I actually experienced something great?

It’s like thinking YOLO but more mindful (and sounds way less douchey).

As I’ve gotten older (and am thankfully more financially secure than when I was making $700 a month teaching full time), I’m more mindful and more invested in trying to see the big picture and how what I do now will affect the future. I want to invest the time, money and effort to have more unique, meaningful and memorable experiences rather than pinching pennies or, alternatively, wasting money on a half-assed plan.

Especially a few years ago, I started trying to find a balance between saving for the future and enjoying the opportunities I have in the moment.

Around this time I started investing more in my home, finally giving in to buying basics like a toaster oven, better sheets and real wine glasses. Things I had wanted since I had moved to Thailand but not let myself buy in the name of saving money. I also went to France. With my mom and cousin. And stayed in a chateau in Provence for a week with some of the best people I know.

YOLO, but like, classy.

Moveable Feast Retreats Provence
The chateau was so large I could only photograph small corners of it at a time

Was it the most practical trip? Nope. Was it 100% worth it? Absolutely. (Although I still couldn’t pull myself away from my computer and clients or actually take a full week off of work. That’s what I, and my future self, really regret.)

Every element of the experience was carefully planned out. The setting was perfect and the food was exactly what you would dream of when thinking about eating in Provence.

We were with a group of about 12 others and while we were all incredibly different – there was a 1-year-old and a 60-year-old, young newlyweds who had never spent nearly as much on a  trip and older newlyweds who had more money than probably all of us put together – we were all there for the same reasons.

To experience something special that we couldn’t pull off on our own. To take the time to invest in our own happiness, growth and inspiration.

And to have fun in a bomb place.

Definitely a trip to make everyone’s 90-year-old selves proud and have a good story to share at dinner parties for decades to come.

Moveable Feast Retreats Provence 2016

Fast forward, and now I’m helping the beautiful minds behind Provence create the same, same but different special experience in Chiang Mai.

This November, we’re hosting a special group in some of the most incredible 100-year-old villas I’ve ever seen. Everyone gets their own sweet Thai house, we’ll share some of the best food you’ll ever eat in your life, and discover the incredible mix of local day-to-day and luxe surprises that Chiang Mai does so well, like wandering through the hectic fresh market then dining under the stars on a meal made by a private chef.

Moveable Feast Retreat in Thailand 2019
I think my 90-year-old self will approve of this bathing suit + pool villa situation

We’ll go out to explore a hidden forest temple or village where we know the local monks or villagers and then come back to drink poolside Singhas with ice.

We’ve got plenty of surprises up our sleeves and would love for you to join us.

Find all the details for the Moveable Feast Retreat in Chiang Mai here. Spaces are already filling up, so make your 90-year-old self proud then book your spot!

Villas in Chiang Mai
It’s going to be dreamy…


  • Posted May 6, 2019
    by Jan

    I’m going to Chiang Mai in Feb. Doing it on my own. Finds are tight. I am 65 and female. I teach meditation to cancer patients for a non profit in Sacramento area. Any chance of meeting with you to discuss possible small group traveler’s in the future? Also, any tips on finding a shaman for a session while I’m there? Love your website!!! I just found it today. Very creative. Thanks for your time!
    Jan Webb

    • Posted July 2, 2019
      by Alana Morgan

      Hi Jan – I don’t guide groups, this is a one-time experience with friends of mine who run annual retreats. For holistic and healing teacher/therapies/groups/etc. look up the “Chiang Mai Wellness Community” on Facebook. There are also several temples in the area that run vippassana retreats.

  • Posted June 8, 2019
    by lynda

    Just came across your blog and this event – so bummed we will be missing it by about a month! But thank you for all your recommendations in Chiang Mai!!

  • Posted August 15, 2019
    by Wolfe Miglio, Crypto Attorneys

    The pics and the idea are awesome!

  • Posted September 21, 2019
    by Alex Howell

    The caption of the beginning of your post made me reflect too much, sometimes we are shy and do not live the opportunities that life gives us, we do not know incredible people or places for not leaving our comfort zone and I think that’s sad, today society is embarked on a bubble of technology, in their work, even in schools and I think we need to open ourselves to new possibilities and ideas to live the freedom that we ourselves have deprived ourselves!
    I loved your post, thank you for sharing.

  • Posted March 27, 2020
    by AlisaS

    Such a beautiful capture. Hello from Bangkok!

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