Just in case my other posts and updates had been vague… :)
If you’ve never sold everything you own and moved overseas, there’s a little planning and work involved. I guess you could say I’ve been planning this since I met Derek. I told him I was heading back to Albania on our first date!
We sold one car three years ago. We put our house for sale a year and a half ago. Sold half our furniture one year ago. Sold our second car 11 months ago. Sold 5 pieces of furniture in the last week.
The last thing we want to do is travel the world with weights around our ankles.
And as we’ve been planning and preparing for our trip we’ve had the chance to talk to some people. Their reactions are varied but all within the same vein of thought. They go something like this…
You’re selling everything you own?!
Man, it’s tough to start over.
Wow, Albania. Where is that?
No way, you know that’s a third world country, right?
I think it’s safe to say that no one knows where Albania is and I think it’s safe to say that most Americans don’t know what a “third world country” is.
The term Third World arose during the Cold War to define countries that remained non-aligned with either capitalism and NATO (which along with its allies represented the First World, or communism and the Soviet Union (which along with its allies represented the Second World). This definition provided a way of broadly categorizing the nations of the earth into three groups based on social, political, and economic divisions. Due to many of the Third World countries being extremely poor, it became a stereotype such that people commonly refer to undeveloped countries as “third world countries”.
That’s all good and well but I’m personally a little tired of all the class systems we create, but I’ll play along if I get to give the REAL definition of a “third world country”.
A third world country is where you can still enjoy life.
A place where people take things slow and savor them.
Where people know their neighbors and they have friends over to the house.
And they eat every meal with their kids and take naps in the afternoon.
A world where time doesn’t rule everything and to-do lists are obsolete.
A place where people are present where they are and don’t feel the need to check their email, Facebook and text messages every two minutes.
And where they move and work with their bodies and at the end of the day smile knowing it was good.
Do you still think they are the poor ones?
Which leads me to my definition of a “first world country”.
A place where the people are so poor, the only thing they have is money.
Do you still think we are the rich ones?
It’s easy to buy into what our culture, media and education system has fed us but I can tell you, it’s worth investigating life for ourselves.
It’s worth finding out what’s real and what’s important.
It’s worth laying down our “we are the best country in the world” flag to experience ALL that the world has to offer.
Hungry for More, Monique Alvarez p.s. If there are typos, spelling or grammar mistakes in this post don’t worry about. Those are the kinds of things I’ve worried about for FAR too long. It’s time to just get it out and who cares if it’s not perfect, it’s from the heart!