The FIRST world is where we think we’re from, Mom and me, and now Liew and Sarn. It’s a place with climate controlled interiors and credit cards. The food only makes you sick after years of eating it.
People like us often travel to the THIRD world to experience something real, to taste some adventure and feel alive. It makes us feel like we can hang with the masses. We can handle sleeping under mosquito netting with no air conditioning. In fact, it’s how we prefer to roll.
If we’re lucky, we may get some insight into the FOURTH world. In a way, this is what all of us travellers and do gooders are looking for. This is the place that exists outside of modern industrial life, outside of the Nation State.
If any of these places are real, then surely they exist around us simultaneously, occupying the same geographic locations, and sometimes even the same human body. This is what I gleaned from our journey from California, the Thailand, to Mien land, and back.