Charlie Hammerton, 25, was grieving following the deaths of his best friend, mother and adopted mom in just a year.
In a bid to feel more positive, he decided to travel the world with his “best pal,” rescue ferret Bandit.
He quit his job, sold his three cars and almost all his possessions, drumming up £15,000 ($19,585 USD) for his dream trip, allowing him to buy a campervan.
The inseparable pair traveled for eight months, driving through 11 countries, from the Arctic Circle to southern Italy.
Single Charlie, from Falmouth, Cornwall, said, “Traveling was the most amazing experience of my life and it was completely liberating.
“We followed the sun across the world and camped under the stars in amazing places.
“It was beautiful and I spent it with my best friend.
“I have less money now but I am much wealthier as a person.”
Charlie rescued Bandit from an animal sanctuary in 2015 and the pair have been the best of friends ever since.
The little ferret even stayed with him at his military digs in RAF Coningsby whilst Charlie was working for the RAF.
But Charlie suffered depression and suicidal thoughts after a string of heartbreaking losses in 2017.
His mom Jan died in March 2017, aged 53, after suffering with motor neuron disease, then his best friend Will Moss passed away aged 22 just a few months later following a night out with friends where his family suspects he took drugs.
At the end of the year his adopted mom Samantha passed away after a heart attack.
Living in Arnold, Nottinghamshire at the time he decided to turn his back on a promising career and plough almost all of his money into a globe-trotting adventure – with Bandit.
His adventures have included road trips with Bandit to raise awareness for different charities.
The pair walked across Hadrian’s Wall in aid of motor neuron disease charity, MND, and also skateboarded 40 miles across London in aid of a drug awareness charity.
“It was horrible for me but I didn’t want to get into a rut because of it all,” he said.
“I did think about killing myself a couple of times. I didn’t know where to turn.
“It took a lot of courage for me to do what I did.
“At the time I was living in a nice flat, had a good job and had three cars.
“I had a lot of savings behind me and I was lucky enough to be very secure.
“But it was all just ‘stuff’ to me and didn’t really mean anything.
“I decided to get rid of the lot – and set off with Bandit.”
The pair visited more than 25 towns and cities in 11 countries and Charlie documented the adventure on a Facebook page, ‘Adventures With The Bandit’. In November 2018, Charlie released a book inspired by his travels, “Before Our Adventures.”
“The trip was completely liberating and I really did have an amazing experience.”
Charlie now works in schools across the country teaching youngsters lessons on how to build confidence, self-esteem and outdoor living skills, such as camping and bushcraft.