Canada Loves Immigrants/Albania Bargains/Translator in Your Hand

Nomadico issue #58

A weekly newsletter with four quick bites, edited by Tim Leffel, author of A Better Life for Half the Price and The World’s Cheapest Destinations. See past editions here, where your like-minded friends can subscribe and join you.

40 Million Canadians

If you’re a young and educated person who doesn’t mind the cold, you might want to put Canada on your residency shortlist. The country just passed 40 million residents and in sharp contrast to the anti-immigrant stance we’ve seen in so many other countries, around 96% of the population growth last year came from foreign arrivals. This wasn’t an accident: the country is actively trying to avoid the fate of other developed nations with aging populations and is now one of the few high-income countries where the population is rising and the average age is going down.

Portable Carbon Monoxide Alarm

You may have heard that two tourists died in the Hyatt-affiliated Rancho Pescadero hotel in Todos Santos, Baja. Early reports were unsure of the cause but later it was determined to be carbon monoxide poisoning. It’s hard to prepare for every eventuality on the road, but Airbnb places have carbon monoxide alarms on their list of included items in the apartment, just like a fire extinguisher. If you want to carry your own, here’s a battery-powered travel-sized option on Amazon that’s less than 2.5 inches square.

Albania Bargains for Travel and Living

If you pull up Sarande, Albania on Airbnb or you’ll probably see Greece’s Corfu Town on the same map, showing a stark contrast in prices. A short ferry ride brings a big drop in what you’ll spend and Sarande is a beach resort, possibly the most expensive destination in the country. One bonus for location-independent Americans: they can stick around for a year in this country on a tourist visa only. See my detailed post on living costs and travel costs in Albania.

A Translator on Your Phone

I am increasingly seeing more people holding up their phone next to signs and timetables in foreign countries. That’s because the Google Translate app does an almost magical job of translating foreign words into English, helping travelers navigate street signs, train schedules, and menus. I’ve found that it struggles a bit with handwriting in a foreign script, like Greek and Cyrillic at the local market, but this past weekend it helped me figure out and purchase pistachio butter, fig jam, and two liters of homemade Melnik wine at stands where the farmers and I had no words in common.


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