Russian boy leaves home to 'travel the world', found close by with piggy bank, encyclopaedias, banana

The young explorer wrote his mother a note and packed his piggy bank and encyclopaedias.
The young explorer wrote his mother a note and packed his piggy bank and encyclopaedias. Photo credit: Russian Interior Ministry

An eight-year-old Russian boy picked up his backpack, wrote his mother a note and set off on a trip around the world.

He didn't get far, but his adventurous spirit has made him a social media sensation in his home country.

The unnamed boy vanished from his family home in Astrakhan, southern Russia, earlier this week. His panicked mother phoned the police when she discovered a note from her son explaining he'd left to "travel around the world".

A few hours later, authorities found the intrepid explorer walking down a city street after boarding three different buses. He told the search team he was already tired of his travels and wanted to rest.

He had with him a backpack containing a piggy bank, three encyclopaedias, a toy and a banana, according to the Russian Interior Ministry.

He was returned home and no criminal charges have been filed, although local police did have a "preventive conversation" with the boy and his mother.

A photo of his note as well as the encyclopaedias and piggy bank was shared on Russian social media, where it quickly went viral.

"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 said.

Others jokingly praised his "willingness to get the hell out of Astrakhan".

Some nicknamed the boy 'Konyukhov' after Russian explorer Fyodor Konyukhov, who has climbed Mt Everest, circumnavigated the globe in a hot air balloon and completed various dog sled expeditions, often solo.

A private language school has offered to teach the boy English for free for a year, the BBC reports.