EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Lord Miles Returns to Afghanistan

After 8 months in Taliban custody, the madman returns

Lord Miles Resell Calendar Interview

By Resell Calendar

Key Points

  • Miles Routledge was held in Taliban captivity for 8 months in 2023

  • In October, he was finally released

  • A month later, he chose to defy all odds and return to Afghanistan

Remember when you could watch a documentary from Vice in 2014, and they would actually interview warlords and drug dealers? We’ve got something for you in that same vein.

Last month we sat down with Lord Miles Routledge, who had just come home from a month-long journey through Central Asia. He spent the better part of 2023 imprisoned by the Taliban but would return to Afghanistan only weeks after his release.

Sit down, make a cup of coffee, and hear one reseller’s journey halfway across the world in search of fun and profit.

Who is Lord Miles?


“So the first time I encountered you was that viral screencap of your 4chan post during the fall of Kabul.”


“(That) was only my second time on 4chan. I wanted someone to give me some insight into Afghanistan, but I didn’t want to just post on social media that I’m out here, and, I’ve heard some people on 4chan might know some details. I expected the post to get like 20 replies or something, but then it kind of just blew up, quite literally.”


This was the Internet’s first exposure to Lord Miles. The phrase “just goofing off” applied to wildly inappropriate and dangerous situations became one of his catchphrases.


“What were you doing in Kabul?”


“I was on holiday, about to start a job in investment banking straight after university. My professor at the time told me ‘Miles, you need to take a holiday before you do this.

Well, it’s the peak of COVID, so I look around and they have this thing where if you’re about to sign up to their company, you get like a $1,200 allowance or so for a holiday. There was only one country I could pick from, and that was of Afghanistan because I didn’t have a vaccine at the time.

So I just popped down to Afghanistan and then the country collapsed around me.”

•  •  •

Miles leveraged the viral exposure from his vacation to Kabul into a career on YouTube. He’d begin traveling across the world, making videos that could be described anywhere from “bad idea” to “actually illegal.”

He picked up steam online and built a following. Pushing the envelope became his brand, and he started to plan trips back to Afghanistan after it had fallen completely under Taliban control

In early 2023, Miles made his third return to Kabul with a few goals. Ostensibly, he was in the country looking to open a gold mine in the hills near the city. It was also an opportunity to make YouTube videos and drive viewers towards his Ko-fi.

Instead he was arrested by the Taliban’s Directorate of Intelligence, or GDI, along with several other British citizens. They were suspected of being spies, and their future was uncertain.

News of Miles’ capture first broke in April, and it wasn’t until July that his Twitter account started updating followers on his situation, via one of Miles’ friends.


This tweet and the following thread seemed like outright denials of reality, and most people assumed his account had been compromised by the Taliban. His account later tweeted that Miles would be selling his story to the highest bidder (at a minimum of £5,000), and this was interpreted as an opaque ransom demand.

But Miles was not only alive, but thriving under Taliban imprisonment, and befriended his captors. He soon began plotting how to capitalize on the situation. Remember, he came to Afghanistan to make videos and monetize them. Jail sucks, sure, but he was more worried about the lost income.


“After a few months in custody, I realized I was in very good position with the Taliban up to that point. I was the best treated prisoner in Taliban history, and I realized I had an opportunity here to make some money and go on a crazy adventure. I could have a redemption arc for taking such an L.

Either I can come out of this and go back to a normal job, live a quiet life, and everyone laughs behind my back about the whole situation, or I can come out stronger. I could make the Internet just laugh a little bit at it, at the absurdity of it.

 I saw (my detention) as a good thing because it was an excellent networking event, to put it lightly.”


“Did the Taliban know you had a following on social media?”


“Yes. A few days in, one of my interrogators walked in and said he actually followed me on social media, and some of the Taliban actually did too, not realizing it was me. And they also read my book and laughed at some of the chapters regarding it, and they were actually quite happy that I was selling their merchandise.

At first they were suspicious from the social media posts. They were saying ‘why are you selling patches? Why are you sending our flags (overseas)?’ And I explained to them that people want apiece of the adventure. People don’t want to step foot in there just yet, but having a piece of that journey would mean a lot to them.

They were very much amazed and astonished that their merchandise can be resold at a decent profit. So they were actually quite happy with the social media posts.”

Trip Goals

Towards the end of his stay in Taliban captivity, Miles was already making plans with GDI members for his return. They assured him that he would be welcome back in the country, and would be treated as a guest of honor. Miles intended to accept their offer.

The goal was pretty simple. Prior to and during his detention, Miles’ followers had been buying bits of memorabilia from his travels.


Central Asia is a rich hub of trade, and there are all kinds of bazaars and markets brimming with curiosities. Rugs, homemade textiles, clothes, military paraphernalia; the possibilities were wide. Years of warfare and invasion brought in goods from Soviet and Coalition forces, but exporters were afraid to step foot in the country for obvious reasons.

He had already made it a point to gather interesting items to resell after returning home. This time, the goods would be his main goal, and his new connections within the Taliban would assure his safety.

Before his release from Taliban custody, Miles outlined a rough plan with the GDI. He would return to the country after a few weeks and begin buying goods to resell with their blessing. To get it back home, the only option was to haul it himself out of Afghanistan and through Europe.


“To get this stuff to England, you can’t ship it out of Afghanistan. The postal service just doesn’t like anything that’s out the country that isn’t normal commercial goods or a letter.

And if you ship it out of Pakistan, well, they’re not friendly with Afghanistan. So they’ll see this stuff and seize it.”

•  •  •

The plan called for almost 5,000 miles of driving from Kabul back to his home town, through active warzones, unrecognized states, and France.

It was going to be one hell of a road trip.

Lord Miles on a Land Cruiser in Afghanistan

Landing in Dubai

December 4, 2023. Miles lands in Dubai just over a month after being released from captivity. This was his last stop before reentering Afghanistan.

Nerves were already high, and were about to get higher.


“So, prior to going on this trip I had been assured by the head of the Taliban’s GDI, saying ‘You’re welcome back. You would have no problems here. Everyone else that came to our country beforehand and got arrested from the British was a spy.’

 ’But we’ve determined you’re not MI6. You’re just a silly guy’. And I go, ‘fair enough, my friend’

During my connection in Dubai, I found out one of the previous men who were arrested and released actually went back as well, (and was arrested again). He’s still in prison right now.

So I was fearing that not only would I be another year in jail… I’ll be stuck there, maybe potentially for longer if they deem it serious.”


“For previous trips to dangerous areas, you’ve set up various ‘Dead Man’s Switches’, basically a way to send out a message even if you go radio silent. Did you do anything like that for this trip?”


“(For previous trips) I had automatic tweets that would go out after two or three months (of inactivity), and I also left notes on my table in my house saying ‘Hey, this happened. Please look after this, please clean up my fridge.’ Small things to more important things like financials and house plans and planning for a funeral.

But for this trip, I decided to just not do any of that. And I thought ‘Well, if something bad happens, a bit of suspense will be rather funny.’

From now on, I’ve created a new plan. It’s a box that says ‘Open in case of emergency’. There’s a bottle of vodka inside, a pack of cigarettes, and basically just a letter saying ‘Oh crap, what can you do?'”

•  •  •

We also want to mention that Miles was not flying solo during this trip. While the primary goal was to collect goods to resell, he also needed to document the experience and begin posting videos on YouTube again.

Getting a cameraman willing to tag along was not an easy task.


“We were frantically trying to find a cameraman just before the trip because our main cameraman backed out at the last second. Even though this guy was 28 years old, his mother had found out (about the trip) and held his passport over a fireplace, saying that she’ll burn it if he steps outside.”

With less than a week remaining before the trip, Miles put out a Hail Mary tweet in search of a new cameraman.

In the end, the trip was saved by an Australian videographer pseudonymically referred to as “James”, who both owned a camera and the necessary documentation.

Lord Miles Shooting a Pistol with friends

Back in Kabul

The team landed in Kabul on December 6, where they were warmly greeted by the Taliban and brought to a guest house. Many of the men here had been involved in Miles’ nine month detention.

While in captivity and when dealing with the Taliban, humor is Miles’ go-to.


“When I spoke to the head of the GDI, he asked me, ‘Miles, what took you so long? You were meant to be back in four weeks and it’s been, what, five or six?’ And I go, ‘Very sorry, commander. It took the CIA longer to train me than I thought.’ And they all burst out laughing. Honest to God, I can say I said that.”

“One of the Taliban was showing me his gun, as a joke. He pointed it in my direction and quickly pulled it down. But then I picked up the barrel and pointed it to my head and asked him to shoot me, just to see how he reacts. He’s trying to obviously intimidate me as a joke, and I just act very unhinged on purpose. He somewhat respects it, and just starts smiling.”

Lord Miles Firearm Safety

Miles practicing firearms safety drills with some of his new Taliban friends

Kabul Part II: Land Border Closed

While Miles had gotten into the country with no problems and was immediately making new friends, it didn’t take long for problems to start cropping up.

The Torkham land border between Afghanistan and Pakistan was closed. According to the Taliban, the Pakistani government had erected a new “Welcome to Pakistan” sign too close to the border that resulted in a minor incident. The sign was shot several times, and the border would remain closed indefinitely.

Torkham Border Lord Miles

This was a big problem. The rough route of the trip was essentially that Miles and his cameraman would be loading a car up with goods in Afghanistan, then weaving between the most stable countries in the region until they could reenter Europe. Plan A was Pakistan and then Oman by sea, by far the safest option

Plan B meant driving through Russia after crossing the Caspian Sea. Normally a water route to Azerbaijan was possible, but borders were closed due to Covid and the ongoing Nagorno-Karabakh War. Miles believes he is wanted by the Russian government due to his work in Ukraine, and was hesitant to take the chance.

Plan C was an incredibly risky one-shot attempt through Iran, illegally. Getting pulled over or detained here would likely be a worse experience than his nine months in Taliban custody.

Most of his planning revolved around crossing into Pakistan, which was now off the table.

Not exactly optimal. And while this was an issue that could potentially be resolved in the next few days, another problem had come up that would fundamentally affect the trip.

Lord Miles Afghanistan Hitchhike car Kabul

Miles loading up his luggage and Taliban merch into a car boot

Kabul Part III: When in Doubt, Hitchhike it Out

Rather than dealing with the new legal and financial hassles of buying a car, the team decided to thumb it.


“When we asked about buying a car, which we were promised, they told us new legislation has been passed. You can’t buy a car without going through a slightly lengthy process. It’s a little bit harder as well to export cars across the border.”


“It seems like you didn’t really mind the idea of hitchhiking.”


“Yeah. I realized it would be a lot more dangerous, and I thought it was a very fun prospect. The issue with me is my adrenaline has been shot completely. Unless I’m getting shot at or I have a gun aimed at my head, I don’t feel anything when it comes to getting excited. So the idea of me lugging around all this merchandise, uncertain about where I can go and not know where the next step is… That was very exciting because everything was on edge. 

I also figured it might be easier in the end because going through land borders, especially between Afghanistan and Pakistan, takes a few days. But if you’re just going across as people with luggage, that’s (less of a hassle). So in the end, I thought it could be an advantage. It has more uncertainty, but I think that made for a better video and a better adventure.”

The Kabul Bazaar: A Reseller's Paradise

First they’d need to stock up on items to resell. There’s no shortage of goods for sale in Afghanistan, and Miles first choice was the Pul-e-Khishti Bazaar along the banks of Kabul river. For the last few centuries Kabul has been a center of trade, and bazaars like this periodically spring up, flourish, and are replaced by another market somewhere else in the city.


“The bazaar is chaotic. There’s no clear layout, rhyme or reason, but it’s never felt anything but alive. When you’re there, people are shouting in the streets for offers for you to come buy their products, yelling out that they’ve got other stuff available.

There’s people wheeling wooden carts that are over 60 years old, full of merchandise. Street food of every variety, live chickens next to cooked chickens, fish, all the basic staples you can imagine. And these markets are incredibly overcrowded with weaving streets and alleyways that have little pop-up stores from every single window.

From a little corner shop to a full sewing factory, to manufacturing hubs, to weapons dealers, to everything in the country. There’s Taliban around with flags branded above them, waving in the wind.”


“Before you started traveling, did you have any experience with this kind of reselling?”


“None. On my second trip to Afghanistan, (things) fell through completely, and I wasn’t able to produce a good video out of it. I was just walking around and I found some flags for sale and posted about it online.

There was a huge wave of people wanting to buy them. I thought ‘Surely it must not be allowed’, but when I looked through the government websites, every document I could find, it was completely legal, no problems importing and exporting it. So I decided to buy it and resell it.

 I did a survey to (find out what my Twitter followers would pay). The average price was $45, and I’m still basing my prices off of that. People are very happy to pay for it.

But I understand that people know that I’ve risked a lot to get this stuff and no one else is selling it. The premium on top of it justifies the means.”

Kabul Bazaar Lord Miles Afghanistan

The Pul-e-Khishti Bazaar along the banks of Kabul river

The Merch Haul


“What were you looking for; did you make a shopping list?”


“I’ve slowly identified what people want from my store. I know people want the new Afghanistan flag because you can’t buy that on Amazon or eBay, and that’s just popular at the end of the day. People put flags on their walls. I also know that a lot of paintballers and a lot of larpers in the US that want military surplus. Military patches that they can put on and pretend to be Taliban.

Little pins as well, because if all these items are very expensive, a little pin will be quite cheap. And I’ll cater to a lot of people who don’t have the means to spend a big chunk of money on some merchandise.

Headbands. They’re small, easy to transport because they’re just a piece of printed cloth. You can stick 1,000 in a backpack and still have room for 10,000 more. They’re incredibly cheap too, and the resale value is amazing. The weight is less than a gram each unit so it’s a reseller’s dream, and it really does complete the Taliban look. 

Basically, when people think ‘I want a piece of Afghanistan’, what would they get? And it would be this stuff here. When I looked around, I just saw what defined the culture and what was just shiny and easy to transport in big numbers.”

•  •  •

Miles estimates he spent a little under $4,000 at the bazaar in Kabul. Prices for goods vary widely, but he usually expected to pay around $50 for something like a rug. Back in England, he’s sold them for more than $1,000.

Patches and pins in sets of hundreds cost around ten cents per, while headbands and flags can be custom ordered for a few dollars at a time. Coming into this, Miles knew the margins would be exceptional, and was ready to scale the operation.

Lord Miles Merch

Some of Miles’ merch haul from this trip

How is Hitchhiking in Afghanistan?

Miles spent nearly two weeks in Kabul between trips to the bazaar, meeting with Taliban colleagues, and dealing with food poisoning. From here he would begin the 90 mile journey east to Jalalabad, which meant finding a stranger willing to drive him, his cameraman, and their bazaar haul.


“As far as hitchhiking through these countries, how do you do that? How do you convince somebody to let you in their car with all this stuff?”


“It’s bizarrely easy. You stand on the side of the street and you just hold your hand out. And honestly, within 10 seconds, someone, sometimes multiple people will pull up and argue about who gets to drive a white guy because they know you probably have a little bit of money.

At the end, I pull out a few dollars, maybe up to $10, depending on the length of the trip, and I just force it in their face and say take it.

I think hitchhiking was fine because they always knew you would probably give a little bit. And worse comes to worst, you can just give them your WhatsApp or something. Sometimes they want a photo of you.”

•  •  •

Tora Bora and Rambo III

Along the way to Jalalabad, Miles stopped at the village of Tora Bora. The caves near here have long served as a bastion for Afghanistan resistance efforts, housing Mujahideen fighters during the Soviet-Afghan war and later Al-Qaeda members, including Osama bin Laden.

Miles describes the roads here being littered with the remains of vehicles from previous wars. To get through in some places they had to move debris and even push aside the barrels of burned-out tanks.

Lord Miles Tora Bora Tank blocking road

A tank blocks the road to Tora Bora

The village itself was quiet, and Miles was able to talk with some of the elders that met bin Laden.


“They killed a goat for us, and we sleep in their guest house. And from there, they basically chill with us. We ask, ‘What’s it like over here in Tora bora?’ They told us about 60 years ago they’ve never actually heard of Afghanistan as a country. They just told us, ‘Well, we didn’t know were a country.’

’We were just told this was our land, and we knew our land, and that was it. That’s all we knew, basically. We knew we belonged to a tribe on a plane of land, and we didn’t know countries existed. We didn’t know Afghanistan existed until the Soviets invaded, and we just knew we had to fight.’

He also spoke about the time he met bin Laden as a teenager. They met in a training camp and would play cricket together. Bin Laden was quite young himself, and they didn’t know he was an evil man.

This village elder had never seen a TV show or a screen in his life, so we actually showed him Rambo III, which is Rambo in Afghanistan during the Soviet Takeover.”


“You showed him Rambo?”


“Yes, as his first film. And he actually fought the Soviets back in the day, and he told us he killed about seven Soviets. So he very much enjoyed the movie, but truthfully, I gave him a bit of a PTSD attack.

So we had to stop it. We started playing Planet Earth, just showing him around the world. He didn’t believe Antarctica existed. He’s like, ‘There is no chance there is a land of snow.’ We had to convince him it was real. So that was pretty chill.”

Lord Miles Tora Bora Villagers Rambo III

Villagers in Tora Bora gathered around Miles’ laptop

This visit is wild as hell. We did a bit of digging to try and see the last time a westerner visited Tora Bora, and all we could come up with was a Vice article from 2013. Ironically, the author was visiting Afghanistan because the U.S. was expected to pull out of the country soon™, but couldn’t make it to Tora Bora due to safety concerns.

Ten years later, Miles is offered the chance to visit the village by the same Taliban members that were using Tora Bora as a stronghold in 2014.

The more things change, the more they stay the same in Afghanistan. Coalition forces spent decades in the country attempting to impose western order in the country, only for it disappear like dust hours after they left. The Soviets fought in vain control Central Asia, and would only serve to embolden resistance fighters after their retreat. 

In the end, it’s a YouTuber with Rambo III on his laptop that bridges the divide.

Rambo III Tora Bora Lord Miles Laptop

Rambo III (Soviet–Afghan War)

Tooth Surgery in Jalalabad

After a day spent on the road and in Tora Bora, the team arrived in Jalalabad. The city is less than 40 miles from the border to Pakistan, and would be Miles’ last chance to pick up goods in Afghanistan.

Instead, he set out to find a dentist.

Lord Miles Tooth Surgery in Afghanistan


“We arrive in Jalalabad, and at this point, my wisdom tooth started hurting drastically.

Before, it was giving me some issues, some sharp pains here and there. But for all you reading this, a toothache is no joke. So at this point, I decided to get my tooth removed in Jalalabad. For $12, I had my wisdom tooth removed by a back alley doctor, which was interesting, but it certainly did the job.”


“I think I paid $4,500 to get mine out. It’s a racket.”


“Oh, that’s too expensive. Pay me half that and I can get a pair of pliers. No problem.”


“Did your doctor have a degree? How did you find him?”


“I was walking through a back alley, and I had my hand on my tooth. A little boy saw and pointed towards us. He said ‘There’s a doctor down this footpath, if you want.’

And no, no degree. It would have been about $20 (to get it pulled by someone with a degree). But at this point, I didn’t trust the education of a top Jalalabad doctor. Why would I trust someone from Jalalabad? If the word ‘bad’ is in the name, it can’t be any good, you know?”

Lord Miles Tooth Removed in Afghanistan

One of Miles’ wisdom teeth

Torkham Crossing

By now the Torkham land border that connects Afghanistan to Pakistan had reopened. Through here they could travel along the ancient Khyber pass into the Indian subcontinent.

At the border they were held up by Pakistani customs officers. By now they were carrying nearly a hundred pounds of goods purchased in Afghanistan, and wanted to avoid paying taxes on it. By wrapping the goods in layers and layers of plastic, they hoped the agents would simply wave them through, rather than searching by hand. 

To help sell the con, Miles did his best Mr. Beast impression.


“I pulled my cameraman aside and said,’ we’re going to film a very cheesy YouTube video and just pretend we’re here vlogging.’ I pretended to be one of those overenthusiastic Instagram short makers or one of those cheesy YouTube travelers. I was just talking about local history, saying ‘Hey guys, what’s up? Lord Miles here. We’re at the Afghanistan border’, stuff like that.

And they looked at it and they didn’t bat an eye. Just another blogger who’s risking himself. Maybe they’ve just got a bunch of hairdryers and silly things to take with them, because foreigners have a lot of stuff. It’s all wrapped up, doesn’t matter.”


The Peshawar Subway Sandwich Review

While they managed to get through the border with minimal hassle, it seemed like their “clueless YouTuber” cover had backfired. Pakistani security services were keeping a close eye on them, and they were assigned a security detail disguised as tour guides. Now they’d begin a five hour drive east to Peshawar.


“It’s about six people in a four seater. I’m sitting on my cameraman’s lap. We’re filming, and they actually start touring us around. We catch them in their local language of Urdu basically saying, ‘Make sure they think we act like tour guides. They don’t know.’

At that point, we pretend to start filming like tourists. We just see random landmarks, and I go, ‘Oh yeah, I would love to film that rock. That’s amazing, wow.’ We start filming for landscape and just casually talking, trying to satisfy them to some degree.

(At the hotel in Peshawar) we head up to our room and we assume it’s bugged. We’re talking just by typing on our phones and showing it to each other. In the lobby we notice there’s no intelligence officer there, even though he’s meant to be waiting for us.”

•  •  •

At this point it was late at night, and Miles was hungry for Subway. They attempted to slink out of the hotel and get a sneaky six-inch, but one of their “guides” caught them in the act.


“They had to call the intelligence chief for us to get clearance to go to Subway. Two armed security officers walk five minutes with us to Subway after they insisted that we wait for a taxi. Subway closes in 20 minutes, It’s 10 P.M. I want my goddamn sandwich.

Imagine a Renaissance painting of me eating a six inch sub with two armed guards just sitting beside us. It was like that every single time. All the Pakistanis were looking at us and asked to take photos because they thought we were famous, or we had armed security because we’re rich or something.”


“Was the Pakistani Subway experience about the same as in England?”


“Pretty much. No bacon, unfortunately, so it was really 1984.”

Destroying Miku


“We also fired an RPG at an anime body pillow. Do you think that would be interesting to talk about?”



“I saw your tweet when you were asking someone for a body pillow, before you left. Did you bring the pillow with you explicitly to shoot it?”


“Yes. To shoot it, blow it up, bully it, just obliterate it. Destroy anime. It was a Miku anime body pillow that I brought through Taliban customs.”


“The Taliban didn’t have an issue with that?”


“We took out the stuffing, and they basically just looked at it and said, ‘It is cartoon. No problem.’ It was just a female cartoon.

And they asked, ‘Why have you cut out sections on the back?’ And I say, ‘Well, I did it for modesty because it showed some of her legs.’ No, it was full nude on the back of the pillow. I cut out all that imagery just because I knew that would be a death sentence.

I’m not importing hentai to Afghanistan, guys. Even for the meme, it’s too far.”

Lord Miles Miku Pillow

Miles would carry the Miku body pillow from Kabul all the way to Islamabad in Pakistan. Here they had arranged to meet up with a Taliban acquaintance who promised to make his dream of total anime death a reality.


“We shot her with an AK-47. We shot her with a PKM machine gun. And I threw a hand grenade into a lake with her, but I didn’t blow up Miku fully because then there’d be nothing left for the RPG.

The RPG was at least 30 years old, if not older. There was a good chance it could have blown up in my hands. It could have completely wiped off my face, made me look like a burn victim. My hands become stubs, stumps, and it could have crippled me, basically. But I took the risk because I want to destroy anime.

The terrible thing is, I paid such a huge amount to shoot the RPG illegally, and I missed. So the body pillow, even though it’s riddled with bullets and completely decimated, it still technically survived in some form.”

Lord Miles Firing RPG


“So you still have that pillow?”


“Yes. It’ll be something to resell potentially. It was a running joke throughout the trip. Every time we came home to our hotel or guest house (and see her), I would say ‘Miku just wants to survive. She has to die. We have to kill her. It’s her time. Tomorrow. Tomorrow we’re going to do it.'”

Smuggled Miku pillow Lord Miles

The cut off backside of the Miku pillow

Lahore, Kidnapping, and TV Appearance

The rest of their time in Pakistan gave them a chance to relax, take in the sights, and network. In Lahore, Miles appeared on the nightly TV news by railing against the oppressive Indian government, and outlined a plan to bring Covid vaccines to North Sentinel Island. In Karachi, he tried his hand at art dealing and managed to acquire a Mona Lisa reproduction off the walls of his hotel room for $100.

But the team’s main goal once they had reached Pakistan was getting out of the country. The plan called for an oversea crossing from Karachi to Muscat in Oman. From there they’d be able to hitchhike to Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Turkey, and into Europe.

There is no ferry service that connects Pakistan with countries across the Arabian sea, but they had heard about a smuggling boat operating in the area. The only problem was they had no idea how to get aboard.

Before now, Miles’ Taliban connections had been able to get them anything and anywhere they wanted. Need a rocket launcher? No problem. Visit with Tora Bora? Easy. Cross a border with thousands of dollars worth of undeclared goods? Can do.

But that was no longer an option this far from Pakistan. Instead they’d need to do it the old fashioned way, and pass some money around.

They learned that a party boat operating out of Oman was moonlighting as a smuggling vessel. After departing from Muscat, the boat would dock in Karachi and people would come aboard. While at sea, migrants, criminals, and smugglers would mingle with the party guests on board, then everyone disembarks together back in Oman.


“When we ask around (about this boat), people claim to know nothing. We think it might have been a rumor or a dead end, but eventually we pay some money to a local taxi men that we hitchhiked off. They just know all the ins and outs.

We make contact with this boat, but we’re stopped by Pakistani intelligence once again at the seaport. They say, ‘You’re not allowed to go on a boat without paying a yacht club or a membership fee as a foreigner in Karachi.’

We head into their office and we talk about cricket, about where the gentleman’s from, he talks about how he’s in northern Pakistan, how I must visit. And I just keep getting details off him. I talk about how Pakistan is very good. I say ‘Wow, this village sounds amazing. Tell me more.’

In the end, he just rambles and he gets very excited and very happy that I’m taking interest in his native village. And I just say ‘Please, I’m very eager to go on this boat. It’s just for YouTube, why can’t I do it?'”

•  •  •

Eventually the officer asked Miles for the name of the boat, and when he realized which vessel they were talking about, all their problems vanished. Pakistani Intelligence was well aware of what was going on and were just trying to keep Miles from being abducted. A state-sanctioned smuggling boat would be no problem.

Lord Miles on Pakistan TV

To Oman and Beyond

As far as Miles could tell, his trip was completely legal. Well, mostly legal. Unlike most of the other passengers onboard he actually had a passport, and he declared himself at both Karachi and Oman.

From here things get simpler. Miles was able to arrange transportation out of Oman to Saudi Arabia. Here they had hoped to continue the journey through Iraq, but was informed that the border would remain closed indefinitely.

At this point, the team decided it was time to head home. They had spent more than a month on the road and traveled across four countries carrying thousands of dollars of merchandise.

Besides, the main goal of the trip (aside from making a trunkload of money) was to prove that he actually could return to Afghanistan. After the Taliban released him, the obvious play was to stay the hell out of the country. That’s what everyone expected, and that’s what everyone told him to do. Don’t play with fire, or you’ll get burned.

Well, he played with fire, and had a good time doing it. Now it was time to come home and cash out.

They would fly from Riyadh to Bulgaria and rent a car there, then spend another week bringing the goods back home to England.

Annoying UK Customs


“In England I was detained for 20 hours. After I walked up to the customs because I was a bit paranoid, so I thought I might as well declare it anyway, not run the risk. They saw this stuff and detained me, but nothing was illegal. It was just a bit questionable.

They released me eventually, and they also asked for one of the Taliban patches. They can only have a patch if they pay $45. Actually, because they’ve kept me for 20 hours, I’m going to up the price to $50.”

•  •  •

They said no.

At one point during the customs process, agents asked miles about the headbands he was bringing in. They couldn’t read the writing, and suspected they had extremist slogans on them.


“They called in someone who speaks Pashtu to read them, and they started giggling themselves. I got the headbands custom made. They said ‘Live, Laugh, Love’ on them.”


“When you’re in the UK, do you often get recognized?”


“When I walked out the airport, I got recognized by a Saudi teenager who was studying at university. It’s always about once or twice a trip to London, I get recognized.

(It can be weird) because you feel like you have to kind of be in character. You can’t be moody if you’re having a bad day. Sometimes it’s completely delightful.

It’s great talking to people and they say they’re from the original 4chan threads or they knew me from this or I helped with them become Christian. That’s amazing, I’m very happy upon seeing that.”

•  •  •

Merch Sales and Life Lessons


“So have you started selling any of this stuff? Are you making a profit? I saw you sold a rug earlier.”


“I’ve sold five rugs. Some of them were $300, $400, and one of them was $1,200. So about $2,500 worth of rugs.

I have about ten people message me every single day asking when the store’s opening. People always want this stuff. On previous trips where I’ve had about one fifth of this quantity, it’s sold out within 48 hours. My Twitter following alone would buy up all the merchandise.

When I sell this merchandise, I believe I will make a minimum of $40,000.”


“Are you wondering, like, ‘Why does nobody else do this?'”


“I’m hoping no one else does it because the margins on these items are insane. But at the same time, it takes a very specific type of person. I mean, I’m so bloody autistic I somehow made friends with the Taliban whilst being interrogated for being a spy.

You can’t Google the laws in these places, you (don’t know) what their opinions are on certain topics. You don’t know how far you could push the boundaries to make it interesting but at the same time you need to make it interesting. You need to take risks and deal with uncertainty.

It’s crazy, but at the same time, when you do it, you feel extremely accomplished. And you know, someone’s going to look at your Wikipedia in 200 years time and going to see as a giant shitpost. 

It’s absurd, but rather funny, and that’s worth it.”


“Do you have any advice for people that are struggling to find out what to do with their life? The broke boys and gals trying to make their own money?”


“I hear a lot of people saying this. They fall on hard times, something bad happens, and they’re too proud to get a normal job and just work until they can start their own enterprise.

Truth is, starting from nothing is very difficult. I got incredibly lucky with the fall of Kabul happening around me. 

Work for half a year. Work as many hours you can and spend your free time researching stuff you could buy and resell something and enjoy doing it. I’ve known people who have bought up rugs and started businesses in Iran and Pakistan and Iraq, and have made tens of thousands on that stuff.

On my second trip to Afghanistan I was with my friend Callum. I believe he spotted some Soviet medals for sale. At that point, I’ve never touched these medals. I figured most of them were counterfeits and had no idea how to find out authentic ones.

He’s quite the history buff, so he knows what to look for and was buying each medal up for about $20 and selling them for about $300 each. These medals are incredibly small. They’re no heavier and no bigger than a watch face, but he was getting insane margins.

Quite literally, there’s gold in the ground in Afghanistan. Alexander the Great set up a whole trade empire across Afghanistan, and there has been no archaeological digs in some cities that directly descended from his conquests in the area. There are probably multimillion dollar artifacts a few meters below your shoes in Afghanistan, and people walk over them every single day.”

Lord Miles Tea in Tora Bora

Closing Thoughts

We’re not endorsing the idea of traveling to Afghanistan to work as an exporter. If we take Miles at his own words, doing so requires a disregard for safety and a certain degree of neuroatypicality, to put it lightly.

But opportunity is everywhere. For Miles, it was Kabul, Afghanistan, and an unlikely friendship with the Taliban. Unthinkable, unconscionable to some, but very profitable and enjoyable for him. It’s not where he saw his life going, but he seems damn happy doing it.

And that’s usually what opportunity looks like. It’s ugly, dangerous, sometimes laughably stupid. It’s something that looks unlikely to succeed from the outside, and that’s why no one has done it yet.

We get it. Sitting on Twitter and making fun of people doing risky things is fun. But Miles isn’t dead, and he made it back from Afghanistan with most of his body parts intact (we didn’t ask him what he did with that tooth). He has thousands of dollars of merchandise ready to sell, and a few videos in the works. Chances are someone is updating his Wikipedia right now.

Looking to the future, Miles is planning to return to Afghanistan again. This time, he’s looking to explore the remote Wakhan corridor that forms a border between Afghanistan and China, which he believes is an active smuggling route.

Miles also wants to travel to the Arctic, the U.S. outlying islands in the Pacific Ocean, and of course, North Sentinel Island.

Will he get there? Honestly, maybe.

•  •  •

You can find Miles on Twitter/X @Real_Lord_Miles, and subscribe to his YouTube channel to stay updated, or join Ko-fi to support the adventure.

Resell Calendar is striving to be the world’s primary resource for reselling. If you have a story you think we want to hear, or you just want to complain about scalpers, contact us here.

Get posts like these in your inbox.

Monthly digest of the best of Resell Calendar.

Pounce on resell opportunities before they sell out.

Get the details

Subscribe to Newsletter

A monthly digest of the best of Resell Calendar.