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Our First Book: The Happy Expat Family

Posted in: Expats Everywhere, My Life in Ecuador, Our Perspective

happy expat family bookUpdate (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 a lot of hard work and many long days. It’s kind of hard to believe it’s finally done.

Why A Book About Expat Family Challenges?

There’s a lot of information online about expats doing cool stuff and living all over the place, but hardly anything about the specific challenges they face.

And definitely nothing which groups those challenges together – with help to overcome them.

It’s almost impossible to get a real feel for the challenges your family will face by reading random blogs posts.

And if a family isn’t prepared for the challenges life abroad is a lot harder than it needs to be. That’s what happened to us because the information we needed just wasn’t available.

Living abroad is pretty amazing, but it’s also challenging. Knowing how to deal with the challenges could save a family from making a lot of mistakes. Mistakes that could lead to packing it all up and heading back to where they came from.

At times we’ve thought about giving up – but we are so happy we didn’t!

We wrote this book to help families be prepared for (and deal with) these challenges, so they can enjoy life abroad.

Curious about what’s included in the book? Learn more about The Happy Expat Family.

What Expat Families Need To Know

Expat families need to know that life abroad is wonderful.

They also need to know about the tough stuff they will face. Like feelings of separation (from extended family and friends) adjusting to a new culture, and taking on a different language. The adjustment is different for every family, because every family is unique. Some challenges will be harder than others.

Because we wanted a the book that applied internationally, we also interviewed 16 expat families who live all over the globe. The book is more helpful and motivating because of their input.

Our Expat Family Contributors

Here are the expats that contributed their stories, experiences, and advice to the The Happy Expat Family.

  1. Tullis Family: Canadians traveling the world and unschooling their young son.
  2. Cagnotti Family: Argentinean expats living in Mexico with two kids, planning an around the world adventure.
  3. Krause Family: Canadian expats living in Ecuador.
  4. Campbell Family: Moved from Central Scotland to raise their children on the South Island in New Zealand.
  5. Chan Family: From Australia living in Singapore.
  6. Chris Hedges: Grew up as an American expat in Paris.
  7. Jamie Donahoe: Moved from the US to Croatia in 1996, currently living in Switzerland, daughter was born in Bangkok, Thailand.
  8. Duncombe Family: Moved to France from Uganda after a life of expatriation all over the world.
  9. Carmen Priotto: Expat teen born in Kenya growing up in France
  10. Barnthouse Family: American family lived overseas for eight years, their daughter was born in Sicily Italy.
  11. Gallmon Family: A single mother of three young children from the US who has lived in Germany, Honduras, the Bahamas, Kuwait and Alaska. Preparing for another relocation.
  12. Ana Gaby & Family: From Mexico, have lived in Germany, Thailand and Indonesia.
  13. Surlien Family: Expats from Norway, have lived in Hong Kong, Beijing and the US.
  14. Hamori Family: Canadians who toured Europe in a camper van before settling in the traditional French village of Capestang.
  15. Jillian Lama: Grew up as an American expat child living in 3 countries throughout Eastern Europe and Asia.
  16. Heller Family: Moved from the US to the Netherlands.

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How Did We Publish The Happy Expat Family?

The short answer is that we self-published.

That was a lot to take on, but Bryan has never been afraid of a good challenge!

I wrote the book, and together we edited it. It feels a bit like our little book-baby :).

We’ve been asked many times why we hadn’t written a book. And while we’ve been blogging for 5 years, we just didn’t feel ready until now. I guess we just needed a certain level of experience before we felt comfortable enough.

We hope this book will help a lot of people prepare for expat life. And that it will help expats already living abroad. Expats can easily get bogged down with difficult (little) things, and forget how amazing their life is. The book (especially the interviews) encouraged and motivated me, something I was not expecting.

We have been getting lots of good comments about the book, which is a relief. 🙂 Although we were very happy and proud of what we wrote, whenever you put yourself out there there’s always a little fear that goes along with it.

Get your copy of the Expat Family Handbook now!

So we would like to say “thank you” to those who have taken the time to share encouraging comments!

Your Turn

Have you read the book? Did you find it helpful? Please share by commenting on this post.

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Meet the Author

Dena Haines is co-editor of GringosAbroad - Ecuador's largest blog for expats and travelers. She is a travel blogger and content marketer. She is also co-founder of ClickLikeThis (GoPro tutorial blog) and Storyteller Travel.

2 comments… add one
  • surface.artist Dec 1, 2014, 3:53 pm

    Very impressed with the blog and can’t wait to read the book.

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