An eight-year-old boy from the city of Astrakhan in southern Russia has won social media fame after setting off on an around-the-world trip.
The boy’s mother contacted the police after finding a note from her son saying he had left to “travel around the world”.
A few hours later, a search team found him walking down a street equipped with encyclopaedias, a toy, money from his piggy bank and a banana, the Russian Interior Ministry reported on its official website.
The young explorer told his rescuers that he was already tired from his trip and wanted to rest. By that point he had travelled on three different buses before continuing on foot.
News of his exploits were widely shared on social media where many users admired the boy’s ambition.
“An eight-year-old boy from Astrakhan undertakes a round-the-world-trip by foot. Whereas I complain when I have to travel across town,” one Twitter user wrote.
“[I] respect his willingness to get the hell out of Astrakhan,” another joked.
The boy also caught the attention of a private language school that offered via Twitter to “teach the young explorer from Astrakhan English for free for a full year”.
The viral story led some to recount how they had nearly embarked on “trips around the world” as kids.
“I also left a similar note when I was a kid. But before the journey, I decided to lay down for a bit to gain strength and fell asleep. In the end, I wasn’t allowed to go,” one user wrote.
Another person recalled being caught when his grandmother found a “stash of food” he had prepared for his trip across the globe.
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The boy has been nicknamed “Konyukhov” after the Russian explorer famous for his extreme solo expeditions.
In his latest endeavour, Fedor Konyukhov has spent the last four months travelling across the Southern Ocean on a rowing boat.
“He will grow up to be Konyukhov,” one person tweeted, while another created a meme that features a little boy wearing Konyukhov’s beard.
“Fyodr Konyukhov, the beginning,” it says.
However, other reactions have been less upbeat, with some noting that many Russians are too poor to travel.
“Seriously, though, this makes me really sad, because today for most Russians it’s not just an around-the-world trip that is too expensive, they can’t even afford to go to another country,” a user tweeted.
Another person wrote that “the boy will be shocked to learn that in adult life this round-the-world trip will be his ordinary commute to work”.
The boy did not make it as far as other children who have set off to travel the world. In 2018, a twelve-year-old boy flew alone from Australia to Bali and spent four days at a local resort using his parents’ credit card. He was later found by the Indonesian police and taken home.