Todaiji Temple Nara
Podcast

Episode 24: Sightseeing in Japan

  • Hiroshima Peace Museum– Photo below is of the one building left partially standing after the explosion.  It has been reinforced and now serves as a visual reminder of the devastation caused by an atomic bomb.
  • Kabuki Performance– Kabuki is a classical Japanese dance-drama. Kabuki theatre is known for the stylization of its drama and for the elaborate make-up worn by some of its performers.
  • Kamogawa Odori Performance Kyoto– No photos can be taken during the show.  This photo is of the advertisement hanging outside the venue.
  • Nippon Professional Baseball- In Japan they have “beer girls” who run up and down the stadium offering beer for purchase. 
  • Beautiful Buddhist Temple Photos- 
    • Todaiji Temple in Nara- includes the largest indoor Buddha statueKoyasan- mountain top with 117 Buddhist Temples.  We stayed overnight at Fudouin.
  • Peaceful Shinto Shrine Photos-
    • Photo- Small Shinto Shrine tucked into a downtown Tokyo street in the Ginza DistrictPhoto- Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto is one of the most well known Japanese shrines due to its many red torii gates.
  • My favorite food- souffle pancakes at A Happy Pancake (Tokyo and Osaka
geisha walking
Podcast

Episode 23: Travel to Japan

  • Sandy’s Itinerary
  • Japan Rail Pass is an economical way to travel on multiple train trips in Japan (including bullet trains).  Must be purchased in advance of your trip and can be done online. A voucher will be sent to your U.S. home and then is exchanged for the actual Rail Pass in Japan.  With a Rail Pass, seat reservations can be made on specific trains. Visitors can also purchase one-way/roundtrip train tickets at the train station.
person placing hands on bible
Podcast

Ep 21. Spiritual Disciplines: Reading the Bible

Spiritual Disciplines: Reading the Bible

plane at sunrise
Podcast

Episode 19: In Transit – High Flying

  • Booking:
    • Discount flight notifications for deals from your nearest airport delivered to your email nearly daily for  $25/year – NextVacay.com
    • Join frequent flyer programs and look for ways to double dip
    • Prices often change late Monday nights so Tuesday is the best time to shop. Some advice suggests 3pm EST is the best time to shop for a fare on Tuesdays.
  • At the airport:
    • Research baggage prices and buy ahead – find out if the prices will increase if you wait to purchase at the airport
    • Also research size requirements as weight and dimension can differ by airline
    • Container store has nice small bottles for carry-on fluids
    • TSA Pre-check or  Global Entry are nice options for reducing your wait and streamlining your security experience; your credit company may reimburse this – look into it
    • Clear is a new option in a few airports
    • Global Entry is also a nice option which helps you clear customs faster when returning from out of the county; it includes TSA pre-check benefits
diversity
Podcast

Episode 18: Bias

Show notes:

According to ECU, Equality challenge unit, unconscious bias refers to a bias that we are unaware of, and which happens outside of our control. It is a bias that happens automatically and is triggered by our brain making quick judgments and assessments of people and situations, influenced by our background, cultural environment and personal experiences.

Implicit bias refers to the same area, but questions the level to which these biases are unconscious especially as we are being made increasingly aware of them. Once we know that biases are not always explicit, we are responsible for them. We all need to recognize and acknowledge our biases and find ways to mitigate their impact on our behavior and decisions.

(Source: Harvard’s Project Implicit) The Implicit Association Test (IAT) is commonly used to measure implicit bias in individuals. The IAT measures the strength of associations between concepts (e.g., black people, old people, or gay people) and evaluations (e.g., good or bad) or characteristics (e.g., athletic, smart, or clumsy). The IAT is based on the observation that people place two words in the same category more quickly if the words are already associated in the brain. For example, the rate at which a person can link the words “black” or “white” with “good” or “bad” indicates their implicit bias.  

On an Ohio State University website they mention “Our brains are incredibly complex, and the implicit associations that we have formed can be gradually unlearned through a variety of debiasing techniques.” Some popular debiasing techniques include:

  • discounting commonly held stereotypes
  • using context to influence implicit responses
  • changing the way an out-group member is evaluated and categorised
  • using contact to change the level of threat evoked by an out-group
  • using motivation to change responses to an out-group
  • encouraging people to take responsibility for their implicit biases

Resources:

Good overview video: https://youtu.be/OoBvzI-YZf4

Thinking fast and slow – Daniel Kahneman

If you have any suggestions or recommendations to share on the topic, please comment so our readers and the Lead.Travel.Pray. team can benefit from this knowledge.

Check out our twitter feed to read or hear more about each of our core topics of leadership, global travel and faith. We appreciate you!

black car interior
Podcast

Episode 17: In transit – Renting a Ride

  • How to decide if you should rent:
    • Consider what mass transit and ride share options are available
    • If trying to cover a lot of ground and see a variety of sights, you will probably want the convenience of having your own car.
    • Costs can also be a factor. Sometimes it is cheaper to rent a car to get to and from your destination than ride share or taxis.
  • Rental tips:
    • Loyalty programs can have advantages for rates and efficiency – often getting to skip past the rental counter and go straight to the car
    • Cars may also be cheaper through 3rd party booking sites like Orbitz, Priceline & Expedia
    • Prices can fluctuate so it is worthwhile to look frequently in case a better deal is now available. Most reservations can be cancelled ahead of time with no penalty so you may decide to rebook a cheaper rate or to upgrade to a larger car class.
  • Reservation tips
    • Never pay full price – look for coupons (like in the Entertainment book)
    • Pay attention to what kind of deposit the rental car company expects – this can vary greatly when you travel global
    • Research the baggage space to know you have enough space
    • Smaller cars generally work better in Europe
  • Check the car before you leave the lot
    • Take picture of any damage on the car before you leave the lot
    • Don’t sign a damage form before looking the car over
    • Adjust your seat, mirrors, etc. before you leave the rental lot
    • The gas gauge tells you which side to pump the gas