A Canadian Family Traveling & Living Abroad Since 2009

Dena Haines

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family living abroad

In The Happy Expat Family I interviewed 16 expat families living all around the world. Something that stands out in each of the interviews is how each of the families benefited from the move. These are some of their comments. Enjoy! “I longed to follow an old dream of mine: to help women out of poverty. ... [Read more]


Flying with a dog wasn't as easy as we thought it would be. Especially because our dog was too large to fit in the cabin with us. We recently moved from Ecuador (South America) back to Canada with our dog and it took a huge amount of planning! There were a lot of details to figure ... [Read more]


One week ago today we (along with 7 large bags of luggage, 2 bikes and our dog) left Ecuador, and not just for a vacation. It was very difficult and emotional for our whole family. The Sunday before, we packed everything and sold off all our belongings. Many of our friends came over to see ... [Read more]


Check out Madrigal's Magic Key to Spanish on Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk 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 ... [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]

About Bryan & Dena Haines

We are a Canadian family that lived in Ecuador (South America) from 2009 to 2015. 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

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Gringos Choice: Learn Spanish