Our move, the legacy project, and advice from seniors

After deciding to pull up roots in TN and travel, a common conversation with co-workers and friends involved neglected travel opportunities of the past. Many of these conversations were toned with regret. Instead of traveling, they had taken a job in order to establish a financial base or maybe they hadn't traveled because they were waiting to travel with someone. Some of these people had put off traveling until their families were grown and more money was available. Many intended to travel after retirement.

The advice of older, more experienced , friends and family means a lot to me. Particularly, advice relating to  universal experiences like relationships, children, death, and finances. Almost every conversation about our decision to leave stable jobs for something new was positive and supportive. We were about to do something other people had wanted to do and hadn't.

Advice from the Legacy Project said the same. The Legacy Project asked 1200 elders the question: “Over the course of your life, what are the most important lessons you would like to pass on to younger people?” The results were compiled in the book 30 Lessons for Living. Here are three of the thirty lessons I found relevant to the move.

3.  Say “Yes” to Opportunities: When offered a new opportunity or challenge, you are much less likely to regret saying yes and more likely to regret turning it down. They suggest you take a risk and a leap of faith when opportunity knocks.

5. Travel More: Travel while you can, sacrificing other things if necessary to do so. Most people look back on their travel adventures (big and small) as highlights of their lives and regret not having traveled more. As one elder told me, “If you have to make a decision whether you want to remodel your kitchen or take a trip—well, I say, choose the trip!”

7. Time is of the essence: Live as though life is short—because it is. The point is not to be depressed by this knowledge but to act on it, making sure to do important things now. The older the respondent, the more likely they were to say that life goes by astonishingly quickly. Said one elder: “I wish I’d learned that in my thirties instead of in my sixties!”