A Canadian Family Traveling & Living Abroad Since 2009

Dena Haines

Keep up with all of our latest content by subscribing to our free newsletter. Learn more about travel and life in Ecuador.

Interested to work with us? We accept press trips, review products and some advertising. Contact us for more details.


If you're learning Spanish, you've probably heard of Madrigal's Magic Key To Spanish. It's our readers favorite Spanish learning book. We've seen 600+ purchases just from mentioning this book in an overview post. The week we arrived in Ecuador, someone loaned us their copy because they said it was the best book to get us started. It's the ... [Read more]

tracey tullis

The life of an expat can be amazing! Days can be full of new experiences and adventures. And then other days can be really difficult. I recently interviewed some expat families and asked them how they deal with the bad days abroad. The Hamori Family are Canadians living in Southern France. They have faced difficulties with learning ... [Read more]


When women move abroad one of the things on their mind is hair care. Where will you find a good hairdresser? What about your hair color? When I moved to Ecuador, South America, hair care problems made me change things up a bit... Cut your own hair Embrace your gray Extend time between washing Do ... [Read more]

electric shower head

Have you ever seen an electric shower? Culture shock can set in pretty fast the first time you see a shower head with wires sticking out of it! That's what happened to us. I didn't know if I should get in or not. That question was one of the first things that went through my ... [Read more]


Ever thought about hiking an active volcano? Sound crazy? If someone had told me a few years ago that I would be hiking active volcanoes in Ecuador, I would have laughed and said "nope, not me!" But that's exactly what I did - and it was spectacular. While traveling the Galapagos with Red Mangrove we ... [Read more]

happy expat family book

Update (Jan 8, 2015): We released the revised version of our book. It is now in Kindle format and has an active table of contents. The name changed from "Expat Family Handbook" to "The Happy Expat Family" to better reflect what the book is about.  We are so excited about our first book! It took ... [Read more]


When a family starts thinking about extended travel or moving abroad they may start thinking about homeschooling. Homeschooling can be a hot topic. A lot of people have strong opinions about it. If you are thinking about making the switch to homeschooling, don't be put off by negative remarks. I can make positive, well-informed comments ... [Read more]


The sun in Ecuador is strong all year round. And because there is no winter (well, at least no ice, snow, and wind chill) we are outside a lot. We need to be very careful to avoid sunburn. When we first arrived in Ecuador, I wore the famed Panama hat (actually made here.) While they ... [Read more]


Are you learning a foreign language? One of the most frustrating things about language learning is finding the time for it. Learning a new language can seem overwhelming, especially if you are only exposed to it when you leave your house to pick up your groceries. But when you start listening to it in the ... [Read more]


Oregano. It's much more than a seasoning for your favorite Italian dish. It's also a gas-buster. This isn't really dinner conversation: trapped gas on a long flight (but I know you've had it). You know the gas I'm talking about. The gas that makes you unbutton your pants during a long flight. The gas that builds up ... [Read more]

About Bryan & Dena Haines

  • floreana-snorkel
  • sea-turtle-galapagos
  • haines-kiss
  • dena-drew-snorkel
  • bryan-dena-haines
  • haines-family-aruba
  • margarita-horses
  • aruba-shadow
  • floreana-haines
We are a Canadian family living in Ecuador (South America) since 2009. We cover expat hacks, language learning, earning abroad, and product reviews. Read about the best gear, places to live, and cost of living. Interested to work with us? Read more about Bryan & Dena

Free Email Updates

Expat hacks, language learning, earning abroad, product reviews, and more!

Our Book on Amazon