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1 in 11 people now identify as LGBT in Japan

At least one in eleven people identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, while more than two-thirds of respondents were familiar with the acronym LGBT.

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Photo by Sorasak from Unsplash.com

The more people know, the more they are able to identify with the LGBTQIA community.

So it seems in Japan, where a survey conducted by advertising giant Dentsu Inc. found that at least one in eleven people identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, while more than two-thirds of respondents were familiar with the acronym LGBT.

The survey was done in October 2018, and it involved 60,000 people aged between 20 and 59. Of that, 8.9% self-identified as LGBT individuals, a rise of 1.3 percentage points from the previous survey conducted in 2015.

The survey also found that 68.5% either knew that LGBT was an acronym for sexual minorities or had heard of the term. In 2015, 37.6% of respondents answered similarly. Better yet, almost 80% of the respondents said they wanted a “deeper understanding of the LGBT community to ensure that they would not make LGBT individuals feel uncomfortable instead of just knowing the acronym”.

Other findings of this study included:

  • 65.1% of LGBTQIA respondents said they had not told anyone about their sexuality, indicating the still-difficult process of coming out in Japan
  • 78.4% approved or were likely to approve of marriage equality
  • 72.1% wanted stronger legal protections for the LGBT community

Travel

Why a used car could be perfect for a backpacker in Australia

If you are giving the matter some serious thought, let’s look at why a used car makes for an ideal solution for a backpacker in Australia.

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While backpacking around Australia is one of the best ways to see the country, sometimes it can be a bit difficult to sort out transportation. Ridesharing is an option, but it is not always feasible. When you are roughing it and living out of your backpack, you may also not always have the budget for plane flights and more luxurious travel options. 

For these reasons, investing in a used car can make a lot of sense for a backpacker in Australia. If you are a little light on funds, or if you want to use your savings for other purposes during your travels, you can easily find low rates when it comes to financing a used car loan

If you are giving the matter some serious thought, let’s look at why a used car makes for an ideal solution for a backpacker in Australia.

Freedom Of Movement

One of the biggest advantages of having access to a used car as a backpacker in search of adventure is the ability to move freely at your own pace. Used cars will allow you to move around the country where you want and when you want. This makes it ideal for spending more time seeing the things that intrigue you the most and to bypass the areas that are less interesting to you.

Conversely, relying on public transportation or even plane flights places you at the mercy of the schedules set by the companies involved. You are also likely to be more confined to larger urban centres where this type of infrastructure exists. Used cars, on the other hand, will provide you with the ability to venture into areas that are less commonly explored in the country.

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Fits With A Backpacking Budget

The great reason why buying a used car is good for a backpacker is that the price is usually just right for such a travel budget. While a new model may be out of reach for a traveller with a shoestring budget, a used car can be a prudent investment. After ensuring that the used car you are thinking of buying is in good working order and not in need of major repairs, you can be confident that the investment will provide you with affordable transportation for at least the duration of your trip.

Store Your Belongings

While a car is not always the safest place to store valuable possessions, it does represent a reasonable option for keeping your things secure. It can get tiring to constantly have to watch your backpack. Lockers are usually available at hostels and major transportation hubs, but these places are a hassle to travel back and forth to constantly.

When you have a used car at your disposal, you will be able to keep your belongings locked in the vehicle or even hidden from view in the trunk. This provides you with a more flexible means of keeping your possessions close by but does not require you to continually check in on them.

Split The Cost

Travelling with a used car also allows you to fill up the remaining spaces with fellow travellers. Beyond the benefits of meeting new people and making friends along the way, this will also allow you to cut down on the cost of fuel for your trip. By ridesharing with friends or even with trustworthy strangers, your travel budget will be able to take you further down the road.

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Used Car, New Adventures

For the reasons outlined here, consider making the investment in a used car as a backpacker. While it might seem like a bit of an investment, you will be pleasantly surprised at the many benefits that it can bring to your travel experience.

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4 Ways to get around while vacationing in Washington D.C.

Getting around the city is made easy with an abundance of different options available from public transport to bus tours.

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Washington D.C. is the capital of the U.S and a truly amazing place to visit. With its wealth of museums, exhibits, and history, it is a vacation spot that should not be missed. Getting around the city is made easy with an abundance of different options available from public transport to bus tours.

Here are four ways to get around while visiting this beautiful city. 

Car service

Booking a chauffeured car service is a great alternative to hiring a car. Whether it’s a Dulles car service straight from the airport to your accommodation or a trip from your hotel for a night at the theatre, it is an extremely comfortable and luxurious way to get there.

Metrorail

With 91 stations dotted around the city, the Metrorail is D.C.’s underground service. It is open from 5 am and closes at midnight every weekday making it a great way to travel. Although you can buy individual tickets, purchasing a SmarTrip card is a good idea. It’s a travel money card that credit can be added to at any time. It can also be used on the Metrobus, another means of public transport in D.C. Underground maps are available online and at each station. They are easy to follow so you won’t have any trouble finding your way around.

Metrobus

The Metrobus is Washington’s public bus service. There are around 11,500 bus stops within the districts of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. Metrobus carries out around 400,000 trips every day making it extremely easy to get from A to B. Boarding with bicycles is permitted and each bus has wheelchair access. As previously mentioned, you can use your SmarTrip card on this service too. You can also use the card to pay for the parking of cars or bikes. Washington has a fabulous public transport system. Using it could save you time as well as money.

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Bicycle hire

If you enjoy cycling, hiring a bike is a great way to get around the city. Whether it be for a whole day or just a few hours, several companies offer this service. Rates can vary, so make some inquiries when you get there and shop around if needs be. Traditional or electric bikes can be rented and if you have young children trailers are also available. This will allow you to easily get around without little feet becoming tired.  Many companies do bike tours which is a brilliant way to explore and find out a bit more from those in the know. Whilst the city hosts many bus tours which is also a great way to see the sights, a bike tour can allow you to get closer to each attraction. If you prefer the idea of a Segway tour then many companies can arrange those too.

Washington D.C. is an amazing city with a host of different attractions for all ages and interests so, regardless of how you choose to get around, you will not be disappointed. 

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Travel

Marriage equality, trans rights upheld in Costa Rica

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) issued a landmark ruling to recognize marriage equality and transgender rights in Costa Rica. The decision came after the Costa Rican government asked for an advisory opinion on whether it has an obligation to extend property rights to same-sex couples.

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Photo by Ashly Araya from Unsplash.com

Rainbow celebration in Costa Rica.

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) issued a landmark ruling to recognize marriage equality and transgender rights in Costa Rica. The decision came after the Costa Rican government asked for an advisory opinion on whether it has an obligation to extend property rights to same-sex couples.

In the ruling issued by seven judges, it was stated that the government “must recognize and guarantee all the rights that are derived from a family bond between people of the same sex.”

Six of the seven judges also ruled that it is necessary for governments “to guarantee access to all existing forms of domestic legal systems, including the right to marriage, in order to ensure the protection of all the rights of families formed by same-sex couples without discrimination.”

The Costa Rican government similarly asked for advisory opinion from the courts on the issue of allowing transgender people to change their name and gender marker on identity documents.

On this, the ruling says that the Costa Rican government must allow transgender people to legally change their name and gender marker on official documents.

In the region, Mexico City, Colombia, Argentina and Uruguay are among the jurisdictions where transgender people can legally change their name and gender without undergoing surgery. For its part, Cuba has been providing since 2008 for free gender affirmation surgeries through its national health care system.

IACHR’s ruling is legally binding in Costa Rica and 19 other countries throughout the Western Hemisphere that currently recognize the convention. IACHR oversees Argentina, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador and Guatemala. It also rules over Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, Suriname and Uruguay.

READ:  Why a used car could be perfect for a backpacker in Australia

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9 Tips to make your travel adventure easier

Traveling can be unpredictable so it’s important to have a basic plan to fall back on, so that you know where you are going and when.

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Traveling should be a memorable experience for everyone involved but it is a big world out there and you will need to take a few precautions and follow some sage advice to get the best out of your trip, whether it’s a once-in-a-lifetime safari or a city-hopping tour of Europe.

The downtime just before you leave is a perfect time to relax and play at online casinos as well as to prepare yourself for a potentially life-changing experience. Here are nine tips that should make your traveling easier. 

Plan your itinerary beforehand

Just turning up to your destinations and expecting to make the most of your time is not a recommended strategy. Traveling can be unpredictable so it’s important to have a basic plan to fall back on, so that you know where you are going and when. You can still leave room for spontaneity but just make sure you leave enough time for everything you absolutely must do. 

Convert your cash

Don’t wait until you are in each country to convert your cash into the local currency as the exchange rate will be substandard and you could leave yourself open to scams. Be sure to sort out your travel money before you leave. Consider splitting your funds between cash and a prepaid travel card which can be used as a debit card while abroad. 

Book airport transfers

You have your flights covered but what about transfers to and from these busy hubs? You will probably be tired, and jet-lagged when visiting a foreign country for the first time, which makes the task of getting a taxi or public transport more challenging. You might not have any local currency or be able to speak the language. The solution, although slightly more expensive, is to book transfers to your accommodation before leaving.

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Set daily budgets tailored to destination

Saving for a trip and avoiding excess expenditure during the early days of your travel will prevent you from coming up short later on. Combining your basic itinerary with a flexible daily budget is a good idea. When setting a budget, you must first factor in necessities such as accommodation and food before moving onto activities and excursions. 

The amount you set aside will depend on the country you are visiting. For example, if you are traveling to Asia, you may need twice as much for a day in Singapore compared to Indonesia or Thailand. 

When setting a budget, you must first factor in necessities such as accommodation and food before moving onto activities and excursions. 

Pack strategically

It is always best to pack light if you are visiting a number of different countries. Tourists often commit the cardinal sin of overpacking which leaves them with way too much to lug around. Try to include just a few reliable outfits for the climate in addition to a book, a phone, a camera, and any other necessities. Lighter packing also lowers concerns about the loss and theft of luggage. Bags with wheels are also a must.

Eat local

You can save a lot of money by avoiding high-end eateries and enjoying the local street-food. It will be cheaper and more delicious than many other dining options in foreign cities and it will give you the chance to immerse yourself in the tastes, smells and sounds of bustling urban locales. To find the best places, look for the vendors that are popular with the locals.

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Be vigilant

Pickpockets are prevalent in many of the world’s major cities and are a potential danger near tourist attractions, public transportation, and bars and restaurants. For this reason, never leave luggage unattended and make sure you store valuables in places that are out of the reach of thieves. It is important to be vigilant wherever you are in the world so keep a lookout for friends and family if you are traveling as a group. 

Tourists often commit the cardinal sin of overpacking which leaves them with way too much to lug around.

Research, research, research

The more you know, the better prepared you will be for every eventuality. Research will help you to find the best places to stay in a city, whether to tip for food and services and uncover hidden areas and gems away from the tourist trail. Backing up your itinerary with specific information about each country will make your life a lot easier when you are away. 

Learn the language

Becoming fluent in a language for a five-day stay in a country is not always viable but you can get a grasp of the basics to make simple tasks a little bit easier while away. Just being able to ask for directions or for somewhere to buy water can be useful. You will also feel less anxious and frustrated if you know you can converse with the locals. 

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Expression of faith

Here’s the thing: You don’t even have to be a believer to find comfort here. If you just want to take a pause, find refuge from the noise of the world, and even just to hear yourself, then the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Lewiston, New York is one good place to be at.

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Roman Catholics – many Filipinos included – listen, and listen well. When visiting the state of New York in the US, you can still practice your faith.

Head to the Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima; this is a Minor Basilica and National Shrine of the Roman Catholic Church in Lewiston, New York, USA.

Located north of Niagara Falls, it honors the Blessed Virgin Mary as Our Lady of Fatima, the Patroness of US. It is directed by The Barnabite Fathers.

The basilica is located on 16 acres of land, donated by Mr. & Mrs. Walter Ciurzak in 1954. Aside from the (actual) basilica, there is a bell tower, the Shrine of St. Anthony Mary Zaccari, Little Chapel of Fatima, The Avenues of Saints, Shrine of Mother Cabrini, Giant Rosary, Blessed Sacrament Chapel, Immaculate Heart Chapel, The First Chapel, and the Barnabite Father’s Seminary.

The church was started in 1963, dedicated in 1965, and consecrated in 1974. In 1975, Pope Paul VI conferred the title of Basilica upon the church.

Our #LadyOfFatima is, perhaps, a great example of how the concept of separation of #church and #state continues to be extremely challenging, even if blatantly stated in the #constitution (for instance, of the #Philippines). FYI: Devotion to the #VirginMary was dominant in #Portugal and #Spain in the 1920s when the miracles were said to have happened (and these countries were waging wars), and #Russia and even #communism were specifically tackled in the messages supposedly given by the Virgin Mary to the children involved in the occurrence…

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But here’s the thing, though: You don’t even have to be a #believer to find comfort here.

If you just want to take a pause, find refuge from the noise of the world, and even just to hear yourself, then the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Lewiston, New York is one good place to be at.

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Vacation ideas that will help you experience the most of yourself

Try and get out of your comfort zone. Do something you may never have otherwise done if not for setting yourself this challenge. An amazing thing happens when you plan out something like this – you become motivated to try new and experimental efforts.

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When we go on our travels, we often go for many reasons. Some may wish to celebrate a recent graduation or new promotion, some may be simply heading abroad for those special two weeks of the year. It can also be that our vacations help us explore who we would like to be, to see a different worldview, and to help certain parts of our personality bloom.

IMAGE SOURCE: PEXELS.COM

These latter reasons are usually not searched for unless we directly assimilate them into our traveling purpose. This is because it takes energy and effort to explore within those set of contexts. It can also be very important to consider the vacation ideas that may help you experience the most of yourself. Doing so may help you grapple with a troublesome home situation, allow you the necessary space to heal from conflict, or time you can spend figuring out just how you want to progress in life.

The following traveling advice will be geared towards helping your approach in one of these directions. Odds are that with a little care and practical consideration, you will surprise yourself with creativity.

A Rite Of Passage

A long right of passage can be a great means in which to separate yourself from your past, or to grow into maturity. For example, long hiking pilgrimage routes in Europe have been known to give tourists a long and meditative walking experience, some might say this gives them the platform to think differently about their problems back home and come back with that refreshed perspective. A rite of passage can be fun, enjoyable and sometimes a little work, but by no means lacking in effectiveness.

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A Luxurious, Romantic Getaway

Heading on a luxurious and romantic getaway trip can be a phenomenal thing to experience, especially with someone you deeply care about. You may wish to use yacht rental services in Miami in order to get together and curate a little private space in a novel luxurious setting, or you may simply wish to rent out a more expensive hotel suite and thus enjoy an experience you rarely get to see. When you have time to explore and express your love in a beautiful location with a person you care about, you’ll be thoroughly cared for.

Going Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Try and get out of your comfort zone. Do something you may never have otherwise done if not for setting yourself this challenge. An amazing thing happens when you plan out something like this – you become motivated to try new and experimental efforts. This may give you the tools to explore a new discipline, or try something that, until now, you considered impossible. For one person, this may be skiing. For another, it may be skydiving. Try not to think about what the most impressive thing in general could be, but rather the most worthwhile thing for you to choose.

With this in mind, we hope you can head on vacations that help you learn just who you are.

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