Archive

How to win the US Green Card lottery

You’ve probably heard of the green card lottery, officially called the Diversity Visa Program(DV). Each year, the US invites 50k people from countries with low rates of immigration to the US to apply for permanent resident (PR) status. Each year’s green card lottery...

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Actually everything I’m packing for 52 days

Today we leave Toronto for 52 days in Europe and North America. We aim to travel as light as possible without suffering. Since we'll both be working, certain things aren't optional. I'm not bringing an external mouse, which I might regret. I grabbed a paperback for...

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A tax guide for Americans in Canada

By now you know that the US retains the right to tax your worldwide income so long as you retain your US citizenship, regardless of residency. You also know Canada taxes your worldwide income if you live in Canada. That may leave you wondering how any American can...

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A newcomer’s guide to filing taxes in Canada

If you’re a newcomer to Canada, you might be nervous about filing taxes in Canada for the first time. I’m going to walk you through what to expect when filing taxes in Canada as a newcomer. I’m not an accountant or lawyer, I’m an American living in Canada who files...

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My first year in Canada

Today’s my Torontoversary! A year ago today I became a permanent resident of Canada. When we left Brooklyn for Toronto, there were certain things I knew I’d miss. Since we’d spent a good amount of time in Toronto before making it official (in fact, we had apartments...

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7 AirBnB alternatives

We've all heard some AirBnB horror stories. Perhaps you've had one of your own. Staying in a home is so much more comfortable than a hotel, but no one wants to deal with a company that offers support only after you get on the nightly news (if then!). I've had AirBnB...

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How to increase your Express Entry score

There’s one Express Entry question we get all the time: How can I increase my CRS points? The comprehensive ranking system (CRS) is designed to quantify your skills, work experience, language ability, education, and other factors to determine how successful you’ll be...

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How to survive a Canadian winter

People’s first response when they heard that I was moving to Canada was always “But it’s so cold!” While Canada is not the Arctic wasteland most people imagine it to be, it does get cold in the winter. If you’re coming from a place that doesn’t have real winters,...

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The remote worker’s guide to Ottawa

I moved to Canada without having ever visited Ottawa. Clearly I needed to visit Ottawa as soon as possible. If you've heard Ottawa is boring, you're in for a pleasant surprise. Friends in Toronto suggested Ottawa didn't have a lot to offer, but there was more than...

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Marrying a Canadian

TL;DR: Marriage doesn’t automatically get you a Canadian passport.  Let's say you meet and fall in love with a Canadian. You have an adorable meet cute, decide to spend the rest of your lives together, and then you get married. Marriage doesn’t automatically get you a...

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2016 year in review

Most of this year was taken up with immigrating to Canada and then writing a book about the process. With both of us working full time, it’s been a busy year! https://www.instagram.com/p/BLzH81_DZyt/?taken-by=sheepdontswim It doesn’t feel like we’ve traveled much this...

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The digital nomad guide to Buffalo

I didn’t have high expectations for Buffalo. Morbid curiosity, perhaps. And simply the desire to go somewhere and explore for a few days without having to get on a plane. Now that I’ve been there, I can tell you that Buffalo is way more than a stop on your way to...

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Immigrate via the Family Class program

Canada generally wants to bring families together. If you have relatives living in Canada, they may be eligible to sponsor your immigration application. Eligibility to the Family Class program is limited, but if even if you don’t qualify, you would still get points...

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Sandwich Boardwalk

The sandwich boardwalk (AKA Plank Walk) is one of the most scenic spots on Cape Cod, affording some amazing views of Sandwich Harbor. Though only about a quarter mile in length, it seems to stretch out forever in front of you as you walk towards the ocean from the end...

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Planning your life in Canada, for Americans

With Canada’s immigration system weighted to favor the young, few newcomers look into how their Social Security benefits will transfer, how remote workers can save for retirement, or how their move will impact their disability coverage. I’m not a financial planner, an...

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Winkelmann: the smallest town in Texas

If you find yourself driving on US 290 in east-central Texas, you may see what looks like an abandoned town off to the side of the road. This apparent ghost town is actually a failed tourist trap known as Winkelmann, billed as the “smallest town in Texas.” While the...

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Bring your start-up to Canada

Canada is actively seeking promising entrepreneurs to help grow the economy through the Start-up Visa program. If approved, you’d be able to move to Canada as a permanent resident through the Start-Up Business Class immigration stream. The goal of this program is to...

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How to retire to Canada

So you want to retire in Canada? The bad news is that there are no immigration programs that would allow you to simply move to Canada after you retire unless you are already a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. Most of the immigration programs are aimed at...

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Move to Canada as an Entrepreneur

If you have the financial capital and business experience, there are several programs set up that would allow you to immigrate to Canada and invest in the economy. Each province and territory has their own Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) with entrepreneur streams to...

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Camp 30

About an hour east from Toronto you’ll find the abandoned remains of Camp 30, once used as a POW camp that once held high ranking German soldiers during World War II. First opened in 1925 as the Bowmanville Boys Training School, the buildings were constructed in the...

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The Pilgrim cemetery at Burial Hill

Burial Hill in Plymouth, Massachusetts is one of the oldest colonial cemeteries in America and was an active burial ground until 1957. There are about 2,269 headstones along with an untold number of unmarked graves. It is believed that Burial Hill was first used as a...

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How to study in Canada

You’re never too old to go back to school. As a student, you’ll be able to bring your spouse (or common-law partner) and dependent children with you to Canada during the length of your program. Once you’re accepted into a valid program at a designated learning...

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A remote workers guide to Yorkville, Manhattan

In the 1870’s, German immigrants flocked to Yorkville, a neighborhood on the Upper East Side. While the majority of Yorkville was German, there were plenty of families from Poland, Russia, the Ukraine, and Hungary. While the buildings were technically tenements, they...

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Cumberland Gap National Park, USA

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park isn't particularly well known. Wedged between Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia, the main entrance and visitor center is in Middlesboro, Kentucky. The visitor center is the best place to start, so you can buy tickets for the...

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What not to miss in Konstanz, Germany

Konstanz was a small city that is lovely to visit, but a little too quiet for me as a university student. It's a beautiful place to spend a weekend or a very relaxing week. The old town is charming and the lake views are beautiful. The city is perched at the western...

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Trusted traveler programs: the best way to fly

Traveling is fun, but there are so many things in place that add stress and time to any trip. If you fly more than once a year, you might want to think about enrolling in a trusted traveler program to cut down on the time you’re spending waiting in line. For a small...

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Rochester Public Market

Public markets are always fun to visit. They tell you so much about a city -- especially since it's nearly impossible to go and not end up chatting with a local. The Rochester Public Market has fed the city since 1827. You can get just about anything here and there...

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48 hours in Hamilton, Ontario

I love taking short trips, so I’ve been asking around about places to visit outside of Toronto. This is what I learned about Hamilton from random people I spoke to: Toronto is expensive and Hamilton is cheap (from people who live there) It was a major industrial city...

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Canada’s Federal Government

As capital, Ottawa is the seat of Canada’s government. Canada has a Westminster style federal parliamentary democracy with a constitutional monarchy. It has one of the most stable democracies in the world and one of the most democratic nations. The provinces of Canada...

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Dvigrad: abandoned since 1714

Dvigrad is an abandoned town in Croatia on the Istrian peninsula. The first settlement in the spot has been traced to a hill fort from prehistoric times and functioned for centuries until it was completely abandoned in 1714. It was more or less left alone for hundreds...

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Immigration FAQs

Have questions about moving to Canada? Here are the answers to the questions we are asked most frequently about Express Entry. Which immigration programs do I qualify for? There are a lot of different ways to immigrate depending on your specific professional and...

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Abandoned plane in Sólheimasandur

A few kilometres from highway 1 on the south shore of Iceland lies the wreckage of an abandoned plane that crash landed in 1973 on the black sand beach of Sólheimasandur. While much of the plane has been stripped away, it is in surprisingly good shape in spite of...

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Figuring out the monarchy

Does Canada have a queen? Short answer: yes. Long answer: still yes. For those that grew up in Canada, this is probably really obvious. Personally, it took me a while to wrap my head around what exactly the monarchy represented in Canada.  On a technical level, Canada...

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Abandoned Camp Evans, NJ

Growing up, everyone has that place they always wonder about. It lies unknown, forbidden, behind a stone wall or closed doors. Camp Evans was that place for me, a semi-abandoned military base behind a barbed wire fence and guards. There were signs warning of patrol...

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Federal Skilled Trades Class

The Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC) program is another economic immigration program targeted to bring skilled workers into the country. The FSTC program is for very specific types of tradespeople in order to fill labor gaps in important trade jobs. Unlike the FSWP...

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Four Corners

If you’re like me and you have been working towards a goal of visiting every state in America, then Four Corners is an easy way to check off four states all at once. These are the only state boundaries  that meet at two intersecting lines, allowing Colorado, Utah, New...

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Immigrating as a Provincial Nominee

Because different regions of Canada have different economies and cultures, this program allows Canadian provinces and territories to select potential immigrants based on their needs. This is the purpose of the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). How the Provincial...

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NOLA

New Orleans will forever stand out to me as the first place I ever saw a man dragged out of his car by a mob and beaten. No, there are no photos in here of...

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The Canadian Experience Class program

Once you’ve worked full time in Canada, there’s a good chance you can apply for permanent residency through the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) immigration program. Canada figures that since you’ve already been living and working in the country, you’d obviously adapt...

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How to experience Toronto like a local

First, it's pronounced Turrono. Or something like that. Things you have to do while in Toronto Go shopping for vinyl, VHS tapes, and cassettes Toronto really is ten years behind. Eat poutine and be super judgemental Is it better than Montreal? Which local place is...

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The Lodi Mission Arch

The Lodi Mission Arch celebrated the harvest of the Tokay grape and is one of the few (if not only) ceremonial arches built in the Mission Revival style still standing today. The arch, which stands stands 40 feet tall and 80 feet wide, was constructed in 1907, just a...

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Federal Skilled Worker Program

The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) program is one of the easiest ways a non-Canadian can immigrate as a permanent resident. The program looks for the most qualified people that would be best at contributing to the culture and economy of Canada. This program...

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Habitat 67: a reaction to brutalism

When you go to Montreal, there’s a strange building on the waterfront that’ll catch your eye. Or maybe that’s what drew you to the city in the first place. Habitat 67 was designed by Moshe Safdie as his graduate thesis while pursuing his MS degree at McGill University...

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A remote worker’s guide to Montreal

Everyone loves Montreal. It inspires a passion that Toronto just doesn't. It's a tiny, French-speaking city that's been mostly forgotten by the Canadian economy, but it's still the city visitors (and Canadians) gush about. It's a Catholic city known for vice, in...

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Document checklist for Express Entry

Before applying for Express Entry you’ll need to start gathering all of the documents that the CIC will ask for. For some of the requirements, you'll need to wait several months before you receive the specific document that you'll be asked to upload as part of your...

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Abandoned trains in Albany

A few years ago we decided to go to Albany for Independence Day weekend. We booked tickets on Amtrak and decided to walk around and explore the capital city. On a whim, I did some preliminary googling to find out if there was anything out of the ordinary worth seeing....

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Becoming a Canadian citizen

So, you want a Canadian passport. Maybe you want to be able to sew on a Canadian flag patch. Maybe you want to travel longer than PR status allows. Maybe you want to avoid US Taxes. Maybe you want to run for office. Regardless of your motives, here's how to do it....

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Abandoned Fort Tilden

If you're at the Flatbush Junction Target, you're right at the start of the Q35 bus route. Take it to the end and you'll find yourself at the entrance to what was once Fort Tilden. This old military base is now part of Gateway National Recreation Area. It may...

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Hudson River State Hospital

We went to Poughkeepsie to go to the Walkway Over the Hudson. That picture is from below because we never made it. Or, rather, we kept walking. While on the train up, we realized we would be so close to Hudson River State Hospital, so we may as well take a look. Even...

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Finding a job in Canada

The idea of moving to another country without a job lined up is, well, terrifying. Canadian immigration programs require that you either have a job offer, money to support yourself, or a pledge of financial support. It is possible to find a job in Canada before you...

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Bannerman’s castle warehouse

If you’ve ever been hiking in the Hudson Highlands or taken a train along the Harlem River anywhere north of Beacon, you’ve probably noticed the old castle on Pollepel Island in the middle of the Hudson. Like me, you probably assumed it was the leftovers of a grand...

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Ocean Grove, Asbury Park & Bradley Beach

While the rest of the shore is known for partying, a la the MTV show, Ocean Grove is a community of tranquil Victorian homes. Asbury Park is (quite a bit) more hip. Bradley Beach is a quiet family town that still has plenty of stuff to do. The heart of Asbury Park is...

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Salaries in Canada

I’ve heard a lot of conflicting information on what to expect of life in Canada in terms of salary and general cost of living. Rather than trust the anecdotes, I dove into the data. Here’s what I found. Average salaries are about the same between Canada ($49,000 per...

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A remote worker’s guide to Zagreb

Croatia is often overlooked by American tourists, but has long been a popular destination for Europeans. That’s mostly in part because much of Croatia has been part of Austria, Italy, and Hungary at various times throughout history. While part of the EU, Croatia isn’t...

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Fort Totten, abandoned and forgotten

New York has its fair share of former military installations that are now public parks. Most of the former forts are in various states of abandonment and are only partially open to the public in spite of being part of national park land. Fort Totten is no exception.Of...

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Setting up your apartment in Canada

Once you’ve signed a lease or bought a condo, it’s time to turn your empty place into a home. Before you move in, you’ll need light, heat, water, internet, and furniture. How to move to Canada Utilities Insurance Furnishings Utilities Unless you’re okay with living in...

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Arthur Kill marine scrapyard

Chances are you've heard about the ship graveyard in Staten Island. It's officially known as the Donjon Iron and Metal Scrap Processing Facility where old boats are stored after being collected by the owners and salvaged for parts. The Arthur Kill is the titdal strait...

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Our afternoon in Gary, Indiana

Gary, Indiana isn't really known for being a nice place. I didn't want to go to Gary for ruin porn. I knew of it as a symbol of what happened to company towns when the company goes bust. I'm fascinated by the idea of an era when company executives build great civic...

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Buying a condo in Canada

You hear it all the time: Toronto is way too expensive to buy anything! In fact, houses downtown are over a million dollars! What’s wrong with this statement? The idea that you need to live in a house right downtown. No one talks about buying houses in Manhattan or...

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7 days in Anchorage, Alaska

We spent a week in Alaska one May. It was much colder than it was supposed to be. Anchorage was a ghost town on days there were no cruise ships docked. There was no electricity for a day. Then it went out again the next day. No one lives in Downtown Anchorage, so it...

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Toronto neighborhood guide

The neighborhood you live in has a huge impact on how you experience the city. Before you rent your first apartment or buy a condo, you want to make sure you're choosing a place that fits with your lifestyle. Toronto is a big city with lots of distinct neighborhoods....

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Rainy day NYC

New York has its share of bad weather. Rain, snow, or heat, here’s how to keep yourself entertained. If you’re in denial about the weather The Butterfly Conservatory Sure, it’s disgusting outside, but if it’s between September and May, you can still find yourself in a...

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Renting an apartment in Toronto

You're finally moving up! Here's how to find your new home in Toronto, from where to look for listings to what to expect in your lease. If you’re coming from a small town, renting in Toronto is probably going to seem really unpleasant. If you’re coming from another...

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International Experience Canada

Many countries encourage young people to live and work abroad before settling in back at home through a work exchange or working holidays. Canada is no exception. International Experience Canada is their program to encourage young people from different countries to...

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Jersey City

Not many New Yorkers venture on the PATH, but those who do are rewarded. We took the train over and explored that forgotten industrial zone between downtown Jersey City and Liberty Square...

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Bartow Station

Did you know there is an abandoned railroad station in Pelham Bay Park? Even better than that, it’s totally accessible so long as you don’t mind taking a long walk. By that I mean you don’t have to climb under, over, or through any fences or ignore any “No Trespassing...

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Can you move to Canada?

We successfully immigrated to Canada from the US and you can too! Take this quiz to find out if any of the immigration programs out there would work for you. While this quiz is from the perspective of American citizens, the rules are basically the same for whichever...

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Flying with cats

We brought two cats with us when we immigrated from New York. Since the flight from NYC to Toronto is only 90 minutes and the drive is significantly longer, we decided the easiest way would be to fly them up. We decided to bring the cats up separately, after we had...

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Eating on the road

A self-catering guide for CouchSurfers A key part of keeping costs down while traveling is finding ways to eat cheaply. While it’s fine to gorge yourself while on vacation for a few days, on an extended trip you’re going to find a way to eat healthy foods, even if...

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Landing in Canada

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Best and worst airport bars

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Moving to Quebec

Quebec has different immigration requirements than the rest of the provinces. You could certainly use one of the general programs for immigration to Canada to move to Quebec. However, Quebec offers specific programs for...

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A primer for would-be expats

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Obsession

When Casey and I met, I proposed we walk to all of the wastewater treatment plants in the five boroughs. She agreed for the novelty of it, but quickly became just as obsessed with it as I was. There aren't that many, but they're in...

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How we moved to Canada

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