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How to travel by bicycle around the world staying for free

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Warmshowers is one of the cycling tourism platforms that you have to know

Are you a bike lover? Would you like to travel by bicycle around the world staying in free accommodation? Sounds good right? Warmshowers is one of the cycling tourism platforms that you have to know if you want to find free accommodation in the homes of other travel and bike enthusiasts.

That’s how it is! Warmshowers (WS), also known as “CouchSurfing for cyclists”, is a channel created by and for cyclists, which operates under donations from the community and does not allow the requirement of any financial fee to provide accommodation for travelers interested in receiving home. 

The exchange goes far beyond money, so many hosts will welcome you to their homes, in exchange for your collaboration in household chores, the contribution of your skills and knowledge, sharing cultural experiences, or providing some support or gift during your stay. 

SEE ALSO: Work as a guide for cycling tours around the World

Through this article, you will learn more about what Warmshowers is, how this online portal works, what are its conditions and requirements of use, as well as how to request joining this network of cyclists to travel by bicycle around the world, staying free. 

Without further introduction, let’s start pedaling! 

What is Warmshowers and how does it work?

Warmshowers is an online community of bicycle travelers that takes advantage of the collaborative economy to facilitate free accommodation for nomads and bicycle lovers, in more than 161 countries and regions around the world. 

The Warmshowers platform works as an intermediary channel, designed to facilitate connections between cyclists who do tourism or work as digital nomads in a certain country, and people willing to offer free accommodation in their homes, in exchange for sharing enriching cultural experiences. 

SEE ALSO: A travel guide to visiting Victoria

Both hosts and cyclists looking for accommodation must apply to create profiles on the platform, configure their preferences, and send/accept a request to get in touch with other travelers who are passionate about cycling. 

The platform is maintained based on donations and contributions from users. When applying to Warmshowers, you will have to pay a one-time fee of $30 (with a discount option for those who cannot afford it). 

Requirements to join the Warmshowers community

Before joining the Warmshower community, it is essential to respect the following conditions established by the platform:

  • Avoid using the portal to search for any type of accommodation on trips that do not use the bicycle as the main means of transport. 
  • Avoid using the platform for economic or promotional purposes. 
  • Respond cordially to all requests, messages and requests that you receive in your account. 
  • Provide feedback to your hosts once your stay in your home is over. 
  • Avoid contact with hosts with whom you do not feel comfortable and report any kind of incident. 

Steps to register at Warmshowers and find free accommodation 

Now that you know more details about how Warmshowers works and what their philosophy is before cycling enthusiasts, we will tell you how to apply to create your first profile on the platform, if you want to get in touch with potential hosts in the available countries.

SEE ALSO: Travel tips for visiting Winnipeg

These are the steps you must follow to apply for an account as a guest at Warmshowers: 

  • Access the official portal of Warmshowers (https://www.warmshowers.org/)
  • Click on the “Join the Ride” button.
  • Read the terms and conditions of the platform carefully and start filling in the requested information. You must provide your bank card details to complete your one-time financial contribution for benefiting from WS services.
  • When finished, click the “Review your contribution” button. You will receive a verification email and you will be able to confirm your password. 

Warmshowers will take a week or two to process the request and after that time, you will have the opportunity to configure your profile with all the details that you consider necessary to share with your potential hosts. 

Conclusions about traveling by bicycle around the world staying for free

As you can see, in times when cycling is more relevant in different areas of the globe, Warmshowers is an opportunity to extract more of your adventures around the world, meeting hosts in solidarity with cyclists in a non-profit hospitality exchange.

SEE ALSO: Canada demands negative PCR on international flights

With a network made up of more than 164,742 members and 104,824 users willing to host cyclists in the comfort of their homes, Warmshowers is a platform worth knowing if you enjoy traveling using your bicycle as your main means of transport or are a digital nomad who loves the bikes. 

And you? Would you dare to try Warmshowers during your next bike trip? Have you already used this platform as a host or guest?

Tell us your opinion in the comments! 

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Immigration Tips

How to learn a language without studying: 8 infallible recommendations

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How to learn a language without studying 8 infallible recommendations

Every day, more people wonder how to learn a language without studying, or at least developing fluency in a language without being forced to formalize their education in the traditional classroom. 

Memorizing lists, doing repetitive exercises in textbooks, or going everywhere with the dictionary in your backpack, does not have to be the only methods to learn languages.

Learning a new language without studying is possible, as long as you follow the appropriate recommendations and methods. 

With the help of applications to learn languages, books, audiovisual content, travel, or connecting online with people from different parts of the world, you can learn a language without studying. Let’s take a closer look at how you can successfully achieve your goal.

SEE ALSO: What languages ​​are spoken in Canada

Is it possible to learn a language without studying?

Although at first, it sounds crazy, the traditional way of studying a language was never the right way to learn a language. Do you remember having a childhood immersed in textbooks so that you could master your native language today? Probably not. 

Although academic methodologies and validations have acquired a certain weight and reputation over the years, especially in the world of work, learning a language without studying, simply training our innate communication skills hand in hand with new technologies, each time it is more viable.

Obviously, it is a challenge that cannot be achieved without a good dose of commitment and effort to apply the strategies and recommendations that we will see from now on. 

Eight tips to learn a language without studying 

Next, we review the best recommendations that you should take into account before learning a language on your own and away from traditional classrooms: 

Consume movies and series in their original language 

Learning languages ​​with the content of highly popular streaming platforms, for example, Netflix, or Amazon Prime is one of the most common ways to learn a new language without realizing that you are studying. 

Start with the most friendly audiovisual content at your level in the language you are trying to learn, and take advantage of the dubbing and subtitling resources to better capture each knowledge. 

Also, do not be afraid to repeat the contents until you easily understand the context or view your favorite audiovisual materials in a totally unknown language.

Listen to podcasts and audiobooks

To train your listening skills, nothing better than resorting to podcasts and audiobooks that cover topics of interest to you and allow you to become familiar with the everyday vocabulary of the language you are trying to learn without studying. 

In addition, these formats are ideal to start improving your pronunciation and have a complete immersion in the language while doing other activities. 

That’s how it is! Podcasts or audiobooks can be playing in your headphones as you go in the car, bus, or subway, exercise, or work on automatic activities. 

The ideal is to select those contents that suit your level, avoiding overwhelming yourself with challenges that require extensive linguistic experience. 

SEE ALSO: Work as a guide for cycling tours around the World

Travels

Sounds pretty obvious, right? For as trite as it may sound, there is no better way to quickly increase your skills in a new language than to step out of your comfort zone and face the challenge of communicating in that language for survival.

Even on a short stay, for tourist reasons, there are hundreds of opportunities to loosen up with native speakers and have everyday conversations with all kinds of people. 

In addition, you will not only have to interact with people, but there is a general linguistic immersion where exposure to the new language occurs even when reading posters walking down the street, or watching the local news. 

On the other hand, there are also scholarships and exchange programs that can help you pay for travel expenses to learn a language from the direct experience of living in a foreign destination. 

Make connections with native speakers of the language of your interest.

Whether you have the opportunity to travel, or if it is not among your current possibilities, connecting with native speakers of the language you are trying to learn is key if your plans do not include formal study in the company of a qualified tutor to evaluate you. 

Find groups of foreigners who live in your country of origin and do not hesitate to try to establish a connection, take a look at virtual or face-to-face language exchange groups in your area, interact on social networks, and of course, do not be afraid to ask for feedback from the experts. 

Visit these eight platforms to do online language exchange and raise your speaking skills with the best. 

Do gamified exercises

It is proven that small challenges when learning a new language generate incentives and positive reactions to develop knowledge without falling into monotony. 

Gamified exercises, generally found in web and mobile applications for learning languages, provide a sense of purpose and progress that will motivate you to continue your practice to the limit.  

SEE ALSO: Walmart Cart Pusher Job for Immigrants

Take advantage of the best apps and browser extensions

Learning a language without studying is not synonymous with doing things only when you feel like it. It is important to create habits and routines that, despite not fitting in with traditional educational methods, allow you to stay connected to your learning process. 

Fortunately, today there are thousands of applications and browser extensions that accompany us daily on the devices that we usually carry everywhere: the mobile phone and the computer. 

Apps like Duolingo, Babbel, Busuu or Mondly, allow you to use your free time to perform gamified exercises in different languages. 

On the other hand, browser extensions are very useful for automatic translations and interpretations while doing daily activities on the computer. 

Record your progress 

Even if you are not studying formally, there is nothing more motivating than measuring how you have progressed in your practice and what language skills you have had the opportunity to incorporate when communicating in a new language. 

Set a challenge adjustable to your goals, and do not hesitate to go for this one. At the end of the day, reflect on your learnings and create the habit of periodically comparing how your skills have evolved, which methods are more user-friendly with your practice, and how to continue to implement them. 

Adjust each practice to your areas of interest 

One of the aspects that can be more tedious when it comes to training in an academic and traditional way is studying through generic and sometimes not very exciting subjects. 

By learning a language on your own, you have the opportunity to personalize your practice based on your interests and passions. Do you like sports? Learn a new language in the sports context. Do you love the music? Learn a new language with the help of your favorite songs. 

Not only will you approach a new language with elements that are familiar to you, but you will also have the feeling that there is an exact context and place in which to put all your new knowledge. 

SEE ALSO: Traveling to Canada with a Criminal Record

Conclusion

As you can see, learning a language without studying, especially in a context full of multiple digital resources to use to your advantage, is no longer such a crazy idea. 

Many of the methods of learning a language without studying that we have reviewed today can bring as many practical advantages as traditional studies and are even generally a necessary complement for students of academic languages. 

Although studying formally or taking official exams is always a plus, especially when it comes to finding a job or developing studies abroad, these methods of learning a language outside the classroom are an alternative to shorten the path and stay true to your style of learning. Absorb the information. 

If you consider that learning in the classroom is not your thing and you want to live the experience of communicating in a new language directly in the real world, now is your turn! Try the tips on this list and find out which ones work best for you.

Our recommendation: the best option is a combination of them.

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Canada Immigration

Traveling to Canada with a Criminal Record

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Traveling to Canada with a Criminal Record

The requirements to travel to Canada with Mexican nationality changed in December 2016. All Mexican citizens wishing to visit Canada for a short stay must obtain the eTA before traveling.

The eTA is an electronic travel authorization. This automated system determines the eligibility of people who want to visit Canada. As a Mexican citizen, you can apply for the eTA online by completing a form and answering a series of security questions.

SEE ALSO: What is and what is the function of the CBSA?

Necessary requirements to apply for the eTA with Mexican nationality:

Applying for the Canadian eTA is quick and easy. Among the requirements to obtain the eTA, travelers need:

  • A valid passport
  • A debit or credit card
  • An email address

Once the application has been completed with all the data, the applicant can proceed to answer a series of questions about his criminal record. To finish the process, you have to pay the eTA fee.

Do I need a Criminal Record Certificate to travel to Canada?

The Criminal Record certificate is not required to travel to Canada as a tourist. However, if you want to work in Canada, you may need to obtain a Criminal Record Certificate. In Mexico, you can complete the procedure online by completing a Request for a Certificate or Report of No Criminal History.

On the other hand, if you have a criminal record it is very important that you do not deny it when you apply for the eTA. In the Canadian travel authorization questionnaire, you must answer honestly all questions, including those about your criminal record. No matter how minor the crime, you are required to declare it on the eTA permit form.

SEE ALSO: Walmart Cart Pusher Job for Immigrants

Alternatives if eTA Canada is denied due to brush with the law

It is likely that having a criminal record the eTA will be denied as inadmissible in Canada. In this case, you can still apply for a visa through the nearest Canadian embassy or consulate.

Before the travel authorization system was implemented, travelers from visa-exempt countries did not have to go through any electronic checks. You also didn’t have to answer questions about a criminal record. Migration controls were made upon arrival in Canada. As a result, there are many people who were able to enter Canada with a criminal record and went unnoticed.

It is worth mentioning that not all criminal records are equally serious. Still, the eTA serves as a screening mechanism to weed out people who might be criminally inadmissible in Canada.

If you have had interactions with the criminal justice system, you could benefit from a legal opinion letter to be able to apply for a visa to Canada and travel without problems. The legal opinion letter is a document that explains that the person with a criminal record is a respectable person and that they are an admissible person.

In some cases it may happen that the eTA is denied, this will depend on the severity of the history of each person. In case the eTA is denied due to the applicant’s criminal record, a temporary residence permit can be applied for, which would allow legal entry into the country.

Lying when completing the eTA is not recommended as this could have very serious consequences. Not only would the eTA not be granted but it could damage future possibilities of traveling to the North American country.

SEE ALSO: How to travel by bicycle around the world staying for free

To process a Canadian visa with a criminal record it is important that:

  • Learn all the details of your conviction and the charge.
  • Gather as much information as possible about your conviction, including dates.
  • Complete the application correctly and with all the necessary documents.

Remember that the decision to grant you entry to Canada rests with the Canadian immigration agent who assists you upon arrival in the country. A serious criminal record can be a reason for denial of the Canadian eTA or entry into the country.

If you have a criminal record for crimes committed before the age of 18 you may still have the opportunity to be granted entry into Canada.

To be considered your application, despite having a criminal record, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Provide supporting documents that you comply with the legal terms to be considered rehabilitated :
    • More than 5 years have elapsed since the crime and also since his final sentence
    • Fully served his sentence
    • Not likely to incur new crimes
    • Had he committed the crime in Canada, he would have had a prison term of less than 10 years
  • Your request for rehabilitation was approved
  • You were granted a record suspension
  • You have a temporary residence permit

SEE ALSO: Walmart Cart Pusher Job for Immigrants

If you have a Mexican passport and a criminal record, it is recommended that you apply for criminal rehabilitation before submitting your eTA Canada petition. Once your confirmation of rehabilitation has been approved, you will be able to apply for a Canada eTA.

Contact an embassy or consulate for updated information and requirements. Please note that these requests can take more than a year to process.

The eTA is not a visa, it is a travel authorization to visit Canada for a certain time. The eTA is not designed for people who want to live, study or work in Canada.

Once the eTA is requested, it will be electronically linked to the passport, which is why it is essential to travel with the document with which the application was made.

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Canada Immigration

Things Immigration Lawyers Won’t Tell You About Moving to Canada

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Things Immigration Lawyers Won’t Tell You About Moving to Canada

Before I enlighten you about things immigration lawyers won’t tell you, I’d like to give you a hint of the duties of an immigration lawyer. They basically work with corporations and employers to assist with helping clients understand the steps taken before they can be employed in Canada.

Immigration Lawyers are not gods

One thing immigration lawyers won’t tell you is that they are capable of failing when it comes to moving clients to Canada. Some tend to be transparent about it but most immigration lawyers won’t come clean on this.

They appear to their clients as gods and create a great picture of them in their hearts. They actually make mistakes too and sometimes lose cases. Most clients are aware of this fact, but when meeting an immigration lawyer they tend to put all hope on them.

SEE ALSO: Canadian professionals and skilled workers program

Immigration Lawyers Have no Supreme Power Over Immigration Process

I’ve met people who think when meeting an immigration lawyer their problems are totally solved. If you have this mindset, I’ll advise you to unlearn it because immigration lawyers are no supreme body in the affairs of immigration.

They only stand-in for their clients in the process stage and convince corporations about employing their clients. Immigration lawyers won’t tell you they aren’t certain about the outcome but would assure you of total success in immigrating to Canada.

You can Process it Yourself Without the Assistance of an Immigration Lawyer

Most people know that they can actually do their immigration processing themselves. It is a known fact, but they hire immigration lawyers because of their professionalism in their field. They believe they can do more better than they are.

Immigration lawyers won’t tell you that there are some cases with a slim chance of achieving victory. They make their clients feel like they are capable of performing miracles and so encourage them to hit on the process.

Immigration Lawyers Won’t Tell You of Their Past Records

Some immigration lawyers have been disciplined for immoral conduct in the past but they would never tell you because you might want to look elsewhere. A major issue is that act misconduct taken by an immigration lawyer may ruin your case. Most people have gone through this experience because of a bad step taken by their lawyer.

Although some learn from their past mistakes, it is not 100% certain that he would not act in that light again. So, when going for a background check you should determine if you should work with or without the immigration lawyer.

SEE ALSO: Rural and northern communities program, and other ways to achieve permanent residency in Canada

Immigration Lawyers Won’t Tell You of the Case Load They Have on Deck

Some immigration lawyers can be extremely busy with a huge caseload on their hands. And oftentimes they do not reject cases but add more to their piles of work.

Immigration lawyers won’t tell you about this and it can cause a low commitment to your immigration process as they do not pay the necessary attention that ought to be paid to your immigration process. Every case ought to be given much attention in other to produce the best result.

While searching for an immigration lawyer ensure you take note of what to expect and also ask questions on the process in order to avoid getting an unexpected result.

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