Is Lord Miles Alive? Over the last two years, despite my best efforts, I’ve refused to die on my travels. It’s one of life’s great mysteries. My name is Miles Routledge, known as Lord Miles online, and I’m the last great British explorer. In the beginning
Over the last two years, despite my best efforts, I’ve refused to die on my travels. It’s one of life’s great mysteries. My name is Miles Routledge, known as Lord Miles online, and I’m the last great British explorer.
In the beginning of the Covid pandemic, I was a physics student going into investment banking, a very boring career. Knowing the grueling hours to come before me, I was determined to go on holiday despite the globally restricted travel bans. After looking around, there was one glorious country that remained open; Afghanistan.
I had the flights booked and reassurances from every article online, the diplomat at the embassy and the Afghan connection I interacted with that absolutely nothing could go wrong and I would have fun. Despite their empty words, the fall of Kabul happened around the third day of my trip. Something did go wrong, but had my fun.
I hung around with the Taliban streaming into Kabul and then British special forces contractors whilst in a compound waiting for evacuation. I drank the last drops of alcohol with the soldiers as bullets rocketed past our windows. This is my first time drinking alcohol but it was a bloody good excuse to start. On my flight out on a C17, I smiled to myself realizing I had a lovely holiday.
Upon returning home to the dangerous nation of England, I understood that I was now famous from posting about my experience in real time on 4chan and other social media platforms. I could have changed my name and gone back into banking, but something about that lovely unexpected holiday called me back to traveling again.
That next month I was in South Sudan exploring the nation. I forged a letter of invite for tourism after registering a tourism company in England and inviting myself on a tour, promising to “keep myself safe and show myself around”. After being offered a wife by a tribe and paying for a military escort across the nation for shits and giggles, I left to Uganda where I stared in the movie Who Killed Captain Alex 2 after wandering into the studio.
This made me hungrier for more, the story of Kazakhstan being invaded by Russia and a media/internet blackout called me into the mountains of neighboring Kyrgyzstan so that I could observe what was going on. I spent two nights climbing across the high altitude snow covered peaks in the dead mist of night, crossing rapids until reaching a small town. Upon reaching the area and gaining signal, my friend and I realized the whole event was over and we awkwardly stumbled back home.
Suddenly, Ukraine broke out. I was there on the first day of the war, catching the last train in from Poland. Upon reaching the front lines, my car broke down just before curfew more than an hour away from my hotel. Being outside at this time was deadly as the soldiers would presume you to be Russian. Strolling through the ghost town of rubble, I found a crumbled building and used the greenery as a place to take a piss. Several soldiers jumped out of the shadows, placing a gun against my skull and shouting for me to show my arms. Awkwardly I negotiated an extra 20 seconds to finish up my business and explained my situation. After taking a few selfies, they called ahead so the other soldiers could expect me and wished me luck as I needed it.
As the bombardments started leveling buildings behind me, I joined the other soldiers in an abandoned school for shelter. We ate food together as brothers, laughing and heartily drinking until the glass from the windows shattered into the side of my cheek from an artillery strike. This holiday just got exciting. We ran downstairs as dust caked our eyes from the cracking ceiling and the lights flashed on and off as the building collapsed behind us. Narrowly reaching the safety of the basement, I made friends with everyone there and gained everyone’s WhatsApp contacts. I woke up to two Ukrainian women soldiers trying to hand feed food into my mouth. Despite waking up in heaven I had to get back to my hotel and wished them the best as I left.
I managed to gain access through a secret knock on a steel door to the city's underground railway system where I was invited on a lovely hike through the subway system tracks back to my hotel which I live-streamed. Somehow an active war zone in a poor country had faster internet than England despite the 45% taxes I pay.
I returned to my hotel covered in rubble, dust and some blood to the horror of the receptionist. “Lovely trip” I said casually as I passed towards my room.
After checking out I took the train to Odessa in order to not take any evacuation trains up, then I walked 14 hours through the snow until reaching the Moldovan border. To my delight, there was some British embassy staff who were looking for UK nationals. “Lovely to get away from England” I said in an upbeat tone as I scrolled past them to the bus station.
Three days later I arrived in Poland in order to meet a close friend of mine. We splashed out $600 on the worst car possible in order to drive in supplies (diapers, food, warm clothes etc) and to get a family of refugees out. A desperate pregnant Ukrainian lady had messaged me stating her town was completely abandoned and with no car or transport links, her family was stranded with Russian forces only a few days away from reaching their position. I had to act. After three days of driving awkwardly past Ukrainian military checkpoints without car insurance, we picked them up and annoyed them for the same time period back with a God awful music playlist. We treated the dog, child, mother and grandmother to their first meal from McDonald’s with an emotional hug before we departed. Ever since, I have been back to Ukraine three times for charity and during Christmas of 2022 as I was bored.
Following this delightful adventure, I popped back down to a refugee camp in northern Kenya where I helped a young man cross the border back into South Sudan in order to get a passport so he could enter mainland Kenya and attend university, away from that God awful camp. We were stopped by corrupt police wanting a bribe, making up a charge and demanding a few thousand dollars. I was not having it.
Naturally, I started making calls to the foreign office on earpiece, not speaker. When they told me “there’s nothing we can do” I replied loudly “you’re escalating this to the headquarters of Kenyan police? Fantastic.” and hung up. Next, I sent myself a text saying, “Your emergency consulate ambassador shall escalate your case given your status in the United Kingdom”, showing it to them as it appeared someone had sent me that message. They were beyond concerned for themselves saying, “This is getting big.” but they kept my passport and kept me in the hotel I was staying in with an appointed guard.
They could have possibly released us the next day without charge, but I wasn’t having it. I wanted to help this kid and I was running on a schedule, so I decided to put together what I deemed to be a reasonable response. I gave a prostitute $20 alongside a few bottles of alcohol, instructing her to go into the police station and get the police commander shit faced blackout drunk. Nothing else. Agreeing, she went inside and when I snuck into the headquarters a few hours later I saw him with one eye open slurring on his chair. Strolling across, I opened the evidence locker using his keys and retrieved my passport. Instantly, my friend and I ran back to the car and we rushed to the south Sudanese border a few hours away. Upon arriving, we were met my Kenyan intelligence, which I didn’t know was a thing until a badge was thrown in my face. After a fumbled nervous explanation, he surprisingly winked at me, told me, “I know what you do. I want to be a friend.” and slid me his number. He thought I was a British spy! I played along, took his number and went on my merry way before taking a selfie. The young lad got his passport and now is studying computer science at a top Kenyan university.
Before my eight month arrest by the Taliban, I went to Snake Island off the coast of São Paulo, Brazil. It’s the second most dangerous island in the world, only slightly behind England. One snake per square meter, which can kill you within minutes of a bite, liquifying your organs and causing you to drown in your own blood.
I bribed a local fisherman to take me to the island with myself covered in a suit of medieval armour. Basically a walking tin can seeing as snakes can’t bite through metal. After hours of stumbling up the tropical island, drenched in sweat from the heat of the peak Brazilian summer I reached the infamous lighthouse that had only been reached by the Brazilian Coast Guard members tasked with replacing the batteries every year. I was nailing a cross on the interior when I received the worst news from my radio. The Brazilian Coast Guard was heading toward our direction.
Being on the island is highly illegal and I was not going to spend 10 years in a Brazilian prison. I considered pleading insanity in court when I first got a parking ticket so this was not an option. Getting to the top of the island took two hours and the coast guard were 30 minutes out, so as the risk adverse person I am, I stripped off all the armor to my tee shirt and jeans to sprint down the island. Getting into the speedboat just in time to jet away to the safety of the mainland with the sunset behind us. I threw a toy plastic snake at the fisherman who caused him to jump out of the boat with a girlish scream. Hehe.
Most recently, I spent eight months in Taliban detention, however, I was the best kept detainee in Taliban history. At this point, it was my fifth trip to Afghanistan where I had previously setup a Taliban merch export business as well as starting to setup the network and paperwork for a $200m goldmine, as you casually do. I was lumped with the wrong people (genuine spies who were arrested the month before) and interrogated where I pitched my business. They would walk in to question me in the holding room and I’d state “Welcome to my office, glad you could make it, take a seat.” which certainly broke the ice and gathered some chuckles. It reached the point where I had business meetings with the ministers and some higher up commanders of their intelligence agency. I had numerous picnics, watched movies with the Taliban from my laptop I was given for my pleasure and business. I even went to the water park with the Taliban a few months in. In summary, I had a lovely holiday and I’ve been invited back for business with a letter of immunity and even offered citizenship. Only being convicted of not having a permit to visit the goldmine, it was a six month “eh whatever” sentence and two months worth of paperwork between the two governments to deport me.
I can never go too far, sometimes when I sign and state, “It’s so over.” I manage to come out on top with the biggest smile on my face. There is no place in the world I will not go and I’m doubling down with that ambition. I’m Lord Miles, the last great British explorer. I’m only just getting started.
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