First World vs. Third World Traveler

*This post is first published on my RIP Travel Blog, I apologize for some missing comments


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Although Garuda Indonesia is named the world’s TOP 10 airlines in 2015, it doesn’t change how first world immigration in treating us, as a third world country.


Yes, we hate that phrase, it sounds like another version of ‘apartheid’ in traveling. But, like it or not, it is real !!

As a third world traveler, we are getting used to an endless insult look to our passport at checkpoint and , we can’t tell lie, it leads us to such a big frustration before we start traveling.  

Ignore the generic slogan from first world travelers who always spread ‘Quit your job, and travel the world’ slogan. Excuse me?? It ain’t work for us, this immigration would suspect us as illegal immigrant and drag us to interrogation room. We’d even asked for Bank statement for any visa to enter many countries.


As a person who used to do visa run during my job hunting in Singapore several years ago, I get used to this. But, it’s the first time I had to let my flight ticket gone, and I passed Singapore this time, ONLY for stop over before taking a Ferry to Batam via Harbor Front.

I had to spent at least one hour at checkpoint, being dragged to the office and being interrogated. They asked me to open my backpack, and I showed them I carried an iPad, two laptops and DSLR then I had to open my wallet, and showed them how much money I had.

I showed them my Singapore National Library Member Card during my 6 years lived in this country back then. I showed them my Singapore ATMs, SGD notes and several currencies from Bath, Ringgit, Rupiah, Dong and Cambodian notes.

I traveled quite a lot to my beloved ASEAN countries. And, Why can’t I ??? It’s FREE visa.. easy and affordable!! Why do they need to know ‘how rich’ I am then let me in.

I asked one of the Immigration Officer who interrogated me; “Is it because of my nationality I had to pass this random check in the wrong time and I had to buy new flight ticket to my home??”

He replied; “No, we also checked tourist from Western Countries.”

I asked back; “But, I’ve never seen them.??”

Him: “Because when we interrogate them, you’re not here.”

Oh ya?? How about my friend Derek Freal, After staying in Malaysia for 3 months, did house-sitting and he only did a 17 minute of visa run from Singapore and back to Malaysia.  It’s impossible for my passport. I have to stay at least 5 days in Johor Bahru for visa run.

Life is grossly unfair to third world passport !!!


The Perk of Being 1st World Passport


Yeah, if you have much saving… and apply visas in advance!!

But, traveling is still WAY much expensive for Third World Passport than first world passport.

Unlike first world travelers, we have a very limited number of countries and all the other countries require visa to be applied months prior the arrival. In order to get the visa, we have to pay at least 100 USD for visa fee and the immigration has the right to reject your visa application without reason and the visa fee is NON refundable.

Not to mention, we have to book flight ticket 2 ways, there’s no just one way ticket for 3rd world passport. And we need to show them our itinerary during our visit which is ridiculous for me, because for me traveling is without the plan, I love being spontaneous on my journey.

Another important thing, we need to show them your at least 3 months bank transaction. Plus, we have to book hotel room that of course the latter we can cancel. This Paper work is pain in the ass for third world traveler.

As a third world traveler, we CAN’T tell that we are a backpacker because for traveling, we’ll spend more money for paperwork, and first world travelers can spend a lot of money for beers where the amount as much as we spend money for  the immigration.


English is their mom’s language, although they don’t have English Teaching Certificate and don’t know how to differentiate between ‘Affect’ vs. ‘Effect’, they can teach English to innocent kids in China or Vietnam, and they get money while traveling. How easy life as a first world traveler !!!!!!!

Also, as a first world travelers, they can apply visa to work in certain countries like New Zealand for one year or so, without getting a job in advance!!

Us, … to get an S-Pass or EP (working visa) in Singapore, we have to find  ‘healthy’ company who’d be able to give us a sponsorship to work with minimum 2.5 – 3 K SGD salary. And, in the meantime……………..  first world travelers, they can apply visa first then find a job !! How easy ?? and How unfair.. 

We, third world traveler is just like animal in the zoo, it’s easy for First World travelers to visit us, take picture with us, but we need crazy paper works and much money to visit their countries.



Rahma loves writing & reading before she knows how to write and read. A geek who loves her spirit of individuality and has traveled solo since her early age. She blogs in order to share information, not for being the main character of her blog.

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