Miles Routledge is a British student who was trapped in Afghanistan during the Taliban takeover after going on vacation there.
He has now been evacuated from Afghanistan, according to Insider.
According to the Sun, Routledge picked Afghanistan as a vacation destination after googling “the most dangerous cities to visit.” A friend told The Sun that Routledge wanted to “something weird during summer to show off about,” and his mother is now frantically trying to make sure he stays safe.
Routledge is telling his story on Twitch TV. A now-deleted 4Chan page once read, “This guy is Lord Miles Lad Routledge. And he has 71 hours to live. He is writing his final diary detailing his finest hours to us.”
According to Spectator World, he wrote, “I’m stuck in Afghanistan. Bit of a pickle.” He’s a student at Loughborough University in England and is from Birmingham, according to the London Times. He describes himself as an investment banking intern on Facebook.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Routledge Says he’s in a Safe House
On Facebook, Routledge revealed that he’s in a safe house. The Sun reported that it’s a UN safe house.
“I’m all safe in this safe house, the people are great and I look forward to the 2 news articles I’ve got coming out about me. We may be happy im fine but please consider the people who live in Afghanistan as they’re doing so much worse. Pray for them please, I will be doing so tonight,” he wrote.
“I was under the impression that the country wouldn’t fall for another month, so I thought it was going to be fine,” he told The Spectator. “I’d seen videos on YouTube of people going. I thought maybe the worst case would be food poisoning.”
“I like risk, I’m a banker, so it makes sense,” Routledge told the London Times. “I hate lying around on a beach, so I wanted to do something a little bit different. After graduating, I’ll have a full-time job and maybe a family, so won’t have the opportunity to do things like this again. I thought [Afghanistan] looked quite nice, the food seemed amazing, and it was dirt cheap.”
The newspaper reported that he claimed the British embassy had abandoned him, not returning phone calls or emails.
2. Routledge Wrote That He Is ‘Comfortable,’ Whereas ‘The Average Afghani Is Fearing for Their Lives’
Routledge has been telling his story on Facebook as well, and he says that he is comfortable.
“I’ve been telling journalists this but despite how interesting my situation is, please remember im comfortable where as the average Afghani is fearing for their lives,” he wrote.
“My tour guide is currently fearing for his family and his only crime is going the extra mile and saving my life, I can never repay him and that saddens me. I’ve heard about some kind people gathering money for my trip but please put it to better use and donate to some charities in the area. A few $ or £ will make all the difference￼ for a family, it’s what I’ve been trying to do on this trip but sadly it’s never going to be enough and that pains me. I hope you’re all well guys :)))”
“I was fully prepared for death, I accepted it,” he said on Twitch. “This trip has been a test of God. I’m very religious so I believe I’ll be looked after. Before I left I wrote a letter to my friends saying that if I died, not to feel guilty, that I would die happy and religious and proud.”
3. Routledge Previously Visited Chernobyl
Afghanistan is not the first dangerous vacation trip that Routledge took. On Facebook, he revealed that he visited Chernobyl. “It’s been almost 2 years since I went to Chernobyl as my first holiday abroad. I can confidently say that it’s better than my university halls,” he wrote.
In May, he revealed that he had booked his flight to Afghanistan, writing,
I’ve just booked my flight to Afghanistan. The flight path is:
London -> Moscow, Russia
Moscow, Russia -> Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul, Turkey -> New Delhi, India
New Delhi, India -> Kabul, Afghanistan
7/8 nights travelling around Afghanistan
Kabul, Afghanistan -> Dubai, UAE
Dubai, UAE -> Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul, Turkey -> Berlin, Germany
Berlin, Germany -> London
wish me luck, I will bring back some small Souvenir for whoever wants one
Routledge has become the subject of memes online as people follow his travels.
Some people scolded him on his Facebook page, with one writing, “You’re an idiot. I’d stay there if I were you. Think there’s quite a few people back here that would like to give you a damn good slap for being so thick!!!” But another wrote, “Absolute mad lad, I pray you make it out safely king, waiting to hear more of your adventures in the future. A modern day Livingstone.”
4. Routledge Is Studying Financial Trading
In March, he wrote on Facebook, “Passed my Harvard business school online course in capital markets, excellent few months. Next is my CFA level 1 in November, 42% pass rate, wish me luck!”
He wrote that he was accepted to Harvard Business School: “Got accepted, will be doing 6 weeks of an additional course with 6 assessments on top of the uni exam season.”
In January, he wrote, “I’m very happy to say I’ve achieved a 1st in my level 5 financial course which is equal to a 2 year foundation degree. Next is the CFA and the GMAT along side my Physics degree and other projects.” He also wrote, “On my birthday I’ve started my level 5 diploma in applied financial trading which I should complete 6 months early by the end of December time. I’m enjoying it so far”
5. Routledge Has Used His Twitch Page to Communicate With the Outside World
In one video he held up a cross necklace and said that he “put my power in Christ and I didn’t die.”
In another video, he described walking around concealing his identity.
He described how women and girls had to register with the Taliban, who “picked and chose” who they wanted to marry. “I feel sorry for all of the women,” he said.
In one video, he asked, “Would you rather be Hitler or gay?”
In another video, he spoke about the possibilities of getting killed by the Taliban or “corrupt police officers.”
He asked viewers to share his videos but not his location. “I haven’t had water in ages, but now I’m in a safe place,” he said, adding that he wasn’t sure how he was going to get out. He said that there were Americans, Russians, and others at the safe house.