Welcome to Expat Heather! My name is Heather Carreiro, and I am the Deputy Head of School and Syracuse University adjunct instructor of Writing at ISHCMC – American Academy in Vietnam. I’m a single expat mom living in Ho Chi Minh City with my four-year-old son Gabriel and one-year-old daughter Arianne.

Me & the kiddos, August 2015

Living Abroad

I lived in Morocco as a study abroad student for one year during my university studies. After graduating from UMass Amherst with my BA in Linguistics and Middle Eastern Studies, I moved to Lahore, Pakistan , where I spent three years total working in education development and teaching at an international school.

When electricity became scarce and the heat became unbearable in Lahore, I moved back to Massachusetts and pursued my MA in English. In January 2011, Gabriel was born – two weeks after I’d turned in my MA thesis!

When Gabriel was 18 months old, I started a new job in Vietnam. We’ve been living in Ho Chi Minh City for two years. Now Gabriel swims year-round, wants dragon fruit and mango for snack time, and insists on always being the one to tip the taxi driver. He is in his third year of the Early Explorers program at International School Ho Chi Minh City. He has informed me that his next trips will be to Saturn (where there are beaches and mountains) and Dinosaur Land (where he can ride a T-rex).

In February 2014, my daughter Arianne was born at Hanh Phuc Hospital just outside Ho Chi Minh City. Her main activities include stealing her brother’s Ninja Turtles, bringing people their shoes, and instigating crazy dance parties.

On this site, you’ll find a mix of travel reviews, advice for expats, and personal stories.

Photo by: Zaid Abdul Hamid
Photo by Zaid Abdul Hameed


Below are countries, regions, and faraway US states I have visited:

Alaska, Cambodia, England, France, Germany, Haiti, Hawaii, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Morocco, Pakistan, Quebec (Canada), Scotland, Singapore, Spain, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Western Sahara

Here is a map of my travels in Southeast Asia. The purple/pink pins represent where I have gone with the kids, and the blue ones are places I’ve gone by myself or for school field trips. For some reason, Hoi An, Da Nang & Lang Co Beach show up as if they’re in the sea, however they are on the coast of central Vietnam.

Next destinations: Tu Lan Caves & Phong Nha area in March