The mother of "extreme tourist" Miles Routledge didn’t even know her son was in Afghanistan until she saw the Facebook post where he boasted of being "on holiday" in the war-torn country.
Routledge was evacuated from Kabul as the Taliban advanced on the Afghan capital, posting videos of him wearing a flak jacket as he boarded one of the last flights out of the besieged airport.
Sharing the video on his Facebook page, he wrote: "I've landed in Dubai thanks to the brilliant people at the British Army. All safe!"
He explained that he hadn’t been able to post anything before takeoff because US forces had placed jammers all around the airport to prevent the Taliban from detonating remote-control bombs.
"It blocked my AirPods from connecting so I think it blocked all wifi data," he said.
Before setting off to the country where 3,500 coalition service personnel and more than 170,000 Afghans had lost their lives in the struggle against the Taliban, Routledge had uploaded a timed post to his blog which notified followers of his death.
The message, saying he had bitten off more than he could chew and "something has not gone to plan resulting in this situation."
It’s set to go live in about 10 days unless he deletes it.
Routledge’s mother Susan told the Daily Mail that she was "relieved" he was safe.
"I am still in a bit of shock that he was even there. I had no idea until I saw some of his posts. I am just glad he is safe," she added.
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In a series of now-deleted Facebook posts, Routledge described his distress at being trapped in the collapsing country.
He wrote: "I'm struggling to stand and keep down water. I don’t think I'll sleep tonight, I've seen too many dead people.
"I just wanted this whole thing to be a little charity thing where I can explore a weird country but I've mentally broke[n] down."
Routledge claims he was stopped by Taliban fighters on Sunday while he was trying to get to the airport.
When they asked him where he was from, rather than saying Britain he said "Wales" – he says the fighters "didn't know where Wales was" and let him go.
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Routledge is currently in Dubai, and even after he arrives in the UK, he will have to spend 10 days in a quarantine hotel – adding a £2,285 bill to the roughly £1,000 he had already spent on a visa and refundable flights for his "dark tourism" jaunt.
A UK Foreign Office official, speaking anonymously to online magazine Input, said: "We spend so much time and hard work getting people out of these places.
"Why on Earth would someone do something so monumentally daft?"
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has said around 150 British nationals were flown out of Afghanistan on Sunday, while 3,300 Afghan staff have also been evacuated.
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