An Auckland barista has quit his job to pursue a full-time career as a Pokemon Master.
Tom Currie, 24, handed in his notice at the cafe where he worked this month to embark on a two-month tour of New Zealand.
Tom Currie worked as a barista and bartender at a seaside restaurant on the Hibiscus Coast near Auckland, but has decided to jack that in to find digital creatures on his phone instead.
He says he’s relying on friends and family to help out but admits his parents are “a little bit baffled”.
“When I resigned, I didn’t tell my manager I was going out into the world to hunt Pokemon,” he told Newsbeat.
“But after my story got picked up I gave him a courtesy call to update him just in case the media contacted him.
“I got an absolutely lovely response, ‘Good on you Tom. It is really funny. I hope everything is OK. Have fun for your Pokemon trip.’
“My dad sent through a text message saying he always knew I would be famous.”
Since beginning his quest to find all the monsters, Tom says he’s caught 91 of the 151 Pokemon available in the game.
He says the travel has been the best part of playing instead of going to work every day.
“I get to walk around and explore towns I’ve never been to,” he says.
“I have been meeting heaps of people, tourists travelling the country and other Pokemon trainers at the small (sometimes huge) public gatherings.
“When you and your friends have to physically go for a walk or run to catch a rare Pokemon in the area and you all catch it, that is definitely a highlight.”
Tom says he’s also starting to get recognised in New Zealand after various websites and newspapers ran his story.
He says people around the world are getting in touch to wish him good luck.
“I have been approached by a few other Pokemon trainers who recognised me and wanted a chat,” he says.
“I have had people asking for photos and one guy even called me his hero for doing what I’m doing.
“I have received messages on Facebook from around the world, messages of support from America, Ireland, Canada, India and Nepal.
“The story has gone global, so no doubt I’ll be getting a bit more fan mail.”
Tom says he will go back to work once his Pokemon adventure comes to an end.
“When I finish the trip and get back to Auckland, I will be looking for work and working on my new business.
“And of course still catching Pokemon.”