Who are Bryan & Dena Haines? What Are They Doing?

Lifestyle Design, Online Business, Personal

Bryan and Dena Haines in Miami, Florida

Don't worry: the title of this post will be the extent of the third-person speak you'll hear on Blogger Abroad (except for a paragraph here and here – which are for search engines).

This is the first post on BloggerAbroad – our brand new blog. My name is Bryan Haines and I'm a 34 year-old Canadian living in Ecuador with my wife Dena and our young daughter. In this post I am going to share some of our story and goals. I hope you'll share yours in the comments.

But first:

Why Did We Create Blogger Abroad?

The blog-blogger niche (blogs about blogging) is very full. Driven by dollar signs many eager people (with little-to-no experience) begin to write about blogging and online business. As it happens in most niches there are a few experts, a few great amateurs and thousands of confused bloggers chasing after the next-great-thing.

We created Blogger Abroad for people who want to travel and live abroad – and make money while doing it.

Blogger Abroad is about earning online for travelers and expats. It provides the resources and motivation required to start and grow a successful online business and is different because the advice shared is based on real life experiences.

How Blogger Abroad Is Different

Blogger Abroad is different from other blogs-about-blogging because of who we are. We actually make our living as bloggers.

In fact, we only make money online. And all three of us blog – including our 12-year-old daughter. She blogs on 3 different sites.

Blogging and entrepreneurship aside, we are also expats, travelers and parents. This site focuses on creating a blog business for a specific purpose: lifestyle design.

The topic is fascinating – earning online so you can live/travel anywhere in the world. Some people want to travel long-term while others just want a week here and there. Others (like us) want to live abroad. And yet others simply want to quit their cubicle 9-to-5'er and live life another way. Regardless of your goals, an online business can help you reach them.

On Blogger Abroad, you can expect to learn: how to build a lifestyle business that allows you to live life on your terms.

“Blogger Abroad is for people who want to travel or live abroad – and still need to earn an income.”

A Little About Us

When we moved here (Ecuador) more than three years ago, we didn't have any work. Dena and I had just sold our second advertising agency in Canada, along with our house, car, furniture – everything, and arrived in Cuenca with some savings and six bags of luggage. We figured that we had enough money to last for 3 years before it would run out – and we'd head back to Canada to start over.

Three years is a pretty long family sabbatical but wasn't really that long for a move abroad. We wanted to move permanently. But we did it a little backwards. We moved, then started making money online. As long as you have some savings maybe this will work for you as well. For most people, they will probably setup their business and then move. Either way, it can be done.

We had an idea for an online business – but it didn't work. We thought that we could teach English, be travel writers, or stock photographers but none of those worked for us either. You can read our back story here.

Bryan and Dena Haines in Chordeleg, Ecuador

Dena and I in Chordeleg, Ecuador

Writing as an Education

about.com online business

After nine months of searching, I was hired by About.com – a web property owned by The New York Times Company (The About Group has since been acquired by IAC/InterActiveCorp). In April 2010, I was hired for the online business topic – a topic that I have now covered for almost three years. What started as an interest has become a passion. Online business is fascinating and has massive potential.

Doing business online has created a somewhat level playing field: someone who has never done business online before can, in a very short period of time, create and grow a successful business allowing them to live and travel whenever and however they want.

For over two years, Dena and I have run a website called GringosAbroad. It details our experience of arriving in Ecuador, getting established and doing common things like:

All things that we take for granted in our own country, but that aren't that simple to do in a foreign country – especially when you don't speak the language.

That was three years ago. We now speak Spanish (although it continues to be a work in progress), our daughter is fluent and speaks better Spanish than we do. Our website has grown to be the most popular English-language site in the whole country, it is travel/ex-pat blogging and we love it!

With the success of GringosAbroad we were asked to run a blog about Galapagos travel, for a company that owns lodges on three of the Galapagos Islands. Writing about Galapagos travel means that we needed to experience it – not a bad perk, eh? We've already been there twice and heading back in a couple of months.

Currently we run three blogs:

  • Online Business, About.com: The topic is online business and web hosting. I cover topics such as affiliate marketing, building a site, blogging and finding a web host.
  • GringosAbroad: traveling and living in Ecuador. Dena and I run this together.
  • Red Mangrove Galapagos Travel blog. We run this as a family, even Drew contributes a post each month.

Today We Launch Blogger Abroad

Generate Passive Income While Traveling or Living Abroad


Today, we are thrilled to launch our new blog: BloggerAbroad is dedicated to helping you to travel and live abroad by learning how to make money online.

The blog will be divided into two primary categories: making money online and expat / travel.

Making Money Online

  • Creative Juice
  • Get More Traffic
  • WordPress
  • Make Money Online
Expat / Travel
  • Lifestyle Design
  • Photography
  • Travel / Live Abroad
  • Video

Where is this all going?

Moving abroad with our family was one of the best decisions we've ever made. It has opened all of our minds to a world larger than the small province (Nova Scotia) where we grew up. Before moving to Ecuador, we traveled as a family around Canada, the United States, the Caribbean and South America.

But travel just didn't feel like enough; we wanted to become part of the culture, not just see what the culture was. So after exploring more than a dozen countries (online) for possible relocation, we settled on Ecuador and specifically the city of Cuenca in the Andes.

Keep connected with new posts and news on Facebook or by subscribing to our newsletter (see sidebar).

Thanks for joining us on this journey!


Hi, I'm the Author!

Bryan Haines is a travel blogger, photographer and content marketer. He is co-founder of Storyteller Media (content marketing for travel brands). Bryan also runs two authority blogs with his wife, Dena: ClickLikeThis (GoPro tutorials) and GringosAbroad (Ecuador travel).

18 comments… add one
  • Janis Machala Nov 29, 2014, 11:22 pm

    Bryan and Dena:
    A business colleague/friend sold everything he owned in Seattle, WA and moved to Cuenca site unseen last December (2013). He does online marketing and is very entrepreneurial so he was able to keep his clients. My business after a career in high tech was working with entrepreneurs helping them start, finance, and build their businesses. We could financially support a life in Cuenca but we never see ourselves retiring just scaling back to travel more. In a recent post you mentioned getting many opportunities you can’t possibly pursue yourselves. Have you considered partnering to evaluate these opportunities and dipping your toe in the water with other ancillary businesses as you’ve done with the Galapagos newsletter? Finding a way to leverage my talent and expertise of working with entrepreneurs but with the twist of ex-pats and/or Ecuadorians as clients is a direction I am considering, also, but wondering if you see this as a viable business the way it has been for me in Seattle?

    I can tell by your responses you live a busy life. Have you decided you want a lifestyle business given that it seems you can grow and leverage your brand and reputation to something much larger? One way is to bring on seasoned talent to run parts of what you do or aren’t doing but could be. Want to discuss further or do you get people like me daily asking this same thing?

    Love your practical actionable thought provoking info.
    Have loved my 1st trip to Cuenca and will be back next year with my husband who is a software engineer recently focusing on Android and Java as well as teaching middle and high school math and science. Maybe he should start an International School focused on STEM discipline!

    Janis Machala

    • Bryan Haines Dec 9, 2014, 9:56 am

      We’ve thought about accepting some of the opportunities. But it really comes down to what we want in life.

      While I love business – I also love freedom to choose how to spend my time. We’re happy with current workload and income.

      All the best on your plans!

  • Carlos J. Frontera May 1, 2014, 8:41 pm

    Bryan Haines, I am a U.S. citizen born and raise in Puerto Rico living in United States for almost 30 years and would like to know things about Ecuador like how much it cost a new SUV out the door with all the final duty expenses such as taxes. Do I register the vehicle myself or is register at the dealership. Private health plans. Supermarkets and places like Home Depot with a different names. Where do I go to pay property taxes. Do banks got special privileges for foreign people. If foreign people are exempt to pay property taxes for a limited time as a privilege provide by local government. These and other questions I got that would like to get answer. I hope to hear from you as soon as possible. Good luck and God bless you and your family.

    • Bryan Haines May 16, 2014, 10:36 am

      Hey Carlos – so sorry for my slow reply. For more info about Ecuador you should check out our other blog: http://www.gringosabroad.com/ We’ve been writing about living in Ecuador for almost 5 years…

  • Tiffani Jan 25, 2014, 9:31 am


    You stated you explored many countries online before you moved. Any good websites you could recommend?

    Thank you!

    • Bryan Haines Mar 3, 2014, 7:01 am

      No. I don’t remember specific ones. This was quite a while ago (more than 5 years). We found personal blogs to be most helpful – they gave an untainted view of life in each country.

  • Annette Nov 30, 2013, 6:08 pm


    My husband and I would like to come to Cuenca for at least a couple of months to do some serious exploration to see if we’d like to like to live there a majority of the year. Because of the traveling out of town we will definitely need a car? The cost of renting a vehicle for that length of time is huge. Might you know of any other options? Your blog is remarkable. What a fount of information. Thank you so much!

    • Bryan Haines Dec 10, 2013, 10:22 am

      A car would be a big help. But you can also travel by bus, taxi or van. Buses run about $1/hour of time traveled per person. Taxis run $8-10/hour. A van can be rented for $80-100 per day.

      So glad you’re enjoying the sites! All the best on your travel plans!

  • Hannaharrison Oct 21, 2013, 12:40 am

    We are thinking about Ecuador for our retirement. Me and my husband are early 40. We have a toddler. I want to hear about your daughter’s education if it is possible.

    • Bryan Haines Oct 21, 2013, 5:53 pm

      We school her via an online high school in the US. There are lots of options. Other expats enroll their kids in the local system. I know a family of six from Spain has enrolled all four of their children in school in Cuenca.

  • Caroline Gray Aug 23, 2013, 11:40 am

    Bryan: Please comment on the “quality” of Healthcare in Cuenca / public transportation / and ease (or difficulty) of buying or renting a home as an Expat. Thank you ~ Caroline

    • Bryan Haines Oct 14, 2013, 4:08 pm

      We are very happy with the quality of healthcare in Cuenca. We’ll be writing more about this in the coming months on GringosAbroad.com. Since we bought a car, we don’t use public transportation very often. Last week our truck was in the garage so we used taxis for three days. I had forgotten how good the taxi system is. We didn’t use buses because taxis are faster – but they are also very good. They are efficient, reliable and cheap ($0.25).

      Your question about finding housing really depends on two things: 1) your level of Spanish and 2) how picky you are about your home. There are lots of amazing options both for sale and rent – but they are going to be quite different from what you are used to. And without Spanish, it will be challenging.

  • Jewel Aug 9, 2013, 7:08 pm

    Bryan, my husband and I are considering retiring to Ecuador. 2questions:
    (1) what is the healthcare like?

    (2) how safe is it?


    • Bryan Haines Oct 14, 2013, 4:04 pm

      Healthcare is very good. We’ve had minor surgeries and lots of dental work. It is good quality, almost no wait times and inexpensive. We’ll be covering more about this in the coming months on GringosAbroad.com

      Regarding safety, this is a very subjective question. Ecuador is safer than many cities in the US – but more dangerous than some small towns. You might like this post: Where Are the Dangerous Areas in Cuenca, Ecuador?

  • Sebastián López Faini May 15, 2013, 12:53 pm

    Hi bryan,

    My name is Sebastián López, I’m años Architect and land developer forma Quito. I’m intrested in building a community for expats in Cuenca. Is it possible for us to meet in Cuenca, tonight or tomorrow morning? I definitely would like to Have your perspective. You can contact me vía email or my Mobile 0998529448. Thanks

    • Bryan Haines May 17, 2013, 6:39 pm

      Hey Sebastian – sorry for my slow reply. I’ve been on the road these last few days.

      I’m tied up with a few projects, but if you want to email me your questions, I’ll do my best to respond.


  • Tom Mar 2, 2013, 9:26 pm

    Dear Bryan and Dena

    I Have read your Gringos Abroad post for so long i forgot how I connected. I find your new blog now and maybe now is the time for a new start. Your story gives me hope that at some point I can make the move to Ecuador my self. That has been my plan for retirement for a few years. I just needed to make a bit more nest egg from buying running and then reselling one more business. Then came, the sub-prime debacle, bank fraud and failures, a new and worthless president, a bad economy, and closer to home the business that was to provide my retirement started to slip down the tube. I must now replace the expected income some how if I want my dreamed of retirement. I have bought other courses on internet marketing, travel writing, and much more. Mows would work if applied properly. Problem is, none have came with the boot for my tail, that seems to be needed to get me started, You know, the proverbial kick starter. Thanks for the encouragement.


    • Bryan Haines Mar 3, 2013, 6:16 am

      So happy to hear that you’re enjoying the site Tom.


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