Dealing with Uncertainty: Planning Our Adventures in 2016

By Jane Mountain | January 12, 2016

Traditionally, I have not been great at goal setting, which is probably why I drifted through most of my twenties and thirties, going where the wind took me. While that approach resulted in some interesting diversions, it’s probably not the best way to make your dreams into reality.

For the past few weeks, Stephen and I been setting our intentions and goals for 2016. It feels good to have something of a plan in place.

We started by reading several articles on how to plan our year and took a short goal-setting course from Natalie Sisson, which ended up being extremely helpful.

(It would be remiss not to mention that Stephen has been planning his 2016 yoga work for the past year or more; his packed spring yoga teaching schedule represents many months of hard work.)

After that, our first step was to set our ‘intentional word’ for the year. It is:


If you’ve been paying attention, that’s no surprise. We’ve decided to dedicate this year (and beyond) to helping you live your adventure. Not much power behind it if we don’t walk the walk, is there?

We realized that when we are freaking out about being too busy or not having enough money or being completely uncertain about what the future holds, the word “adventure” reminds us that we chose this life. It reminds us to look upon uncertainty with excitement and gratitude, instead of dread.


Speaking of uncertainty, here are our plans for the first half of 2016… to be revised, tweaked or completely overhauled without a moment’s notice.

January: Travel Planning & Departure

vancouver yoga lionsgate bridge

We’ll be saying goodbye to BC’s beautiful West Coast in just a few weeks.

With our European tour looming over us, this month is all about getting ourselves ready and out the door.

For those of you who missed it, we’re going to Europe! And we’re going soon. We leave on January 28. We’ll be in various European locations until mid-May. We may come back to Canada after that. We may not.

Stephen will be teaching yoga at 20+ locations in Europe, so he is going to be busy! If you’re in Europe, come to yoga or ask us out for coffee at your local roaster. Chances are we’ll be your friends for life.

We’ll be moving out of the apartment that my sister has been so generously renting to us for the past year. This means packing, storage, and moving logistics are all in play. We have to sell our car, too. We also have to plan things like travel insurance, house sitting, house guesting, and transportation around Europe.

Oh yes, and we are finalizing contracts, dates, and deals with 20 different yoga studios!

Every time I get dressed, I find myself mentally splitting my clothes into three categories: store, donate or bring to Europe. Every time I open the kitchen cupboard, I realize how much food we have to finish!

Amidst all this chaos, we are spending a week in Vancouver to pet sit our best friends’ beautiful kitty Roxie.

If we get through January and make it to the airport, it will be a small miracle!

Our past travels in Vancouver:

17 Reasons to Visit Vancouver this Summer →
3 Unbelievably Gorgeous Vancouver Bike Routes
Getting Merry on the Ultimate Vancouver Craft Beer Bike Tour

February: Germany, Latvia and the Netherlands

Path of the wall, Berlin.

We’ll soon be in Berlin, which we hope to like better the second time around.

Our first stop (after a 36-hour layover in London, which includes Stephen teaching a class at Union Station Yoga), will be Berlin, where we will again be hosted by our amazing friend Jesse. You might remember we stayed with him for a whole month during our bike trip (yeah, he is super awesome and makes the BEST cocktails).

Stephen will be assisting Noah Mazé during his yoga teacher training at YogaCircle Berlin. After Berlin, we’ll be in Riga, Latvia for a week and then moving onto Groningen, Netherlands.

While Stephen is teaching, I will be busy pitching travel stories to publications. I’ve been having a great time writing science and environment articles this year but I miss travel writing and can’t wait to get back to it!

Travelling while working will be new to me. I’m excited but also a little worried / terrified. How will we make enough time to get everything done and still enjoy the journey? Will the stress be too much to bear? Most importantly, will we be able to earn enough money to keep on eating?

Our past travels in Berlin and Latvia:

Day Trip to Riga, Latvia
Eating Our Way Across Rīga →
It’s Oktoberfest in Berlin! →
Berlin’s Not All Drug Dealers And Graffiti You Know →

March: Finland, London and more Netherlands

Helsinki Cathedral. Yep, it's pretty breathtaking.

Looking forward to a return to Helsinki and a trip out to the Finnish Archipelago.

While Stephen will be hopping around from place to place in early March, I’m trying to find a place to settle down for a few weeks. It’s not that I don’t want to go to Finland with him (I do!!) but as a travelling yoga teacher, Stephen usually stays with a host. Usually, there’s not a lot of room for him, let alone both of us.

Ideally, I’d be able to stay in the Netherlands. But, I’ve been using to look for places to pet and house sit and France and the UK have much more on offer. Our schedule is just complicated enough that house sits fitting nicely into the weeks available have been hard to find.

At the end of March, we get to go to London! We lived there for almost 10 years and I haven’t been back since we left in 2006. According to Stephen, the city has changed completely. I can’t wait to experience the new London. I’m also looking forward to trying my first pizza slice at Franco Manca and having a drink with friends I haven’t seen for 10 years!

On the business side of things, we’ll be launching our first paid course. What what! It’s going to be a super-detailed branding and tech guide for yoga teachers. If you’re a teacher who needs a little help putting yourself out there, stay tuned.

Our past travels in Finland:

Island Hopping On The Finnish Archipelago
Roam If You Want To →
The Small Things →

April: London, Paris, Berlin + Yogi Nomads in Denmark!

Renewable energy being generated in the countryside.

Wishing we had our bikes with us for our return to Denmark.

April in Paris, bien sûr. Again, while Stephen is hopping around for a few teaching gigs, I will try to stay put somewhere in France. While I’d love to rent a fancy Airbnb in Paris, it’s not really in the budget this time around, so I’m hoping to find a house sit somewhere in the country.

We’ll pop back in Berlin for the next instalment of Noah Mazé’s Berlin yoga teacher training and then off to Aarhus in Denmark. There we’ll join yogis from all over Europe for the European Yogi Nomads gathering. Stephen will be teaching at the gathering and we can’t wait to meet travelling yogis from all over.

Our past travels in Denmark:

The Long And Winding Route
We’ve Almost Made It To The End →

May: Malta and Beyond

Our solid plans for 2016 end in Malta. Stephen has a workshop there and there’s no way I’m letting him go to Malta without me! I’m hoping some quality time on Sicily and in Puglia, Italy will follow.

Right now we’re toying with staying in the area during May or travelling in Italy for a little while. We may also fly right “home” (Nanaimo? Vancouver? Los Angeles?” and resume normal activities. It all depends on how we feel.

June: Certainly Uncertain

italy orvieto countryside

Maybe we’ll have time enough for Italy when the work is done.

We don’t know where we’ll be in June or what we’ll do with our summer months.

Here are some vague ideas…

  • Stephen will snag a teaching gig at a resort for the summer
  • Cycle tour Cuba
  • Hang out with family and friends in BC
  • Relocate to Luang Prabang


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  2. Comment by Karen

    Karen January 12, 2016 at 5:42 am

    Hi Jane, I can really connect with your emotions as I have moved from a corporate world to a nomadic lifestyle where travel will be our lives for twelve months as we tour Europe with our motorhome. I think a huge dose of trust, ‘being’ and mindfulness is definitely the name of the game. I’m excited for you as Europe is beautiful and has so much to offer. I hope you have fun. I’m sorry that our route doesn’t co-incide with one of Stephen’s Yoga sessions. For the summer, why not consider Scandanavia as the weather here will be at its best – it’s where we’re heading, whilst the snow is on holiday. Happy travels and great adventures.


    • Comment by Jane

      Jane January 12, 2016 at 9:42 am

      So glad to hear you’ve made the jump from corporate to nomad! I hope you’re prepared to never look back.

      We’d love to go to Scandinavia in the summer. Our 2013 summer camping in Sweden and Finland was one of the major highlights of our lives! But it is so expensive there, it probably doesn’t fit our budget this year. We are thinking about Croatia though :).

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