New Zealander Tom Currie has made a momentous decision to quit his job as barista and bartender at a seaside restaurant on the Hibiscus Coast, to complete the Pokédex in Pokémon GO.
While friends and family are cheering him on, Currie has admitted that his parents have been left “a little bit baffled” by the decision.
“When I resigned, I didn’t tell my manager I was going out into the world to hunt Pokémon,” Currie explained to BBC’s 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 Pokémon trip.’ My dad sent through a text message saying he always knew I would be famous.”
Since starting his challenge to complete the Pokédex, Currie has caught 91 out of the 151 Pokémon that are available in the augmented reality app. While its completion is his immediate goal, it has been the exploration and discovery that he is enjoying most.
“I get to walk around and explore towns I’ve never been to,” he continued. “I have been meeting heaps of people, tourists travelling the country and other Pokémon 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 Pokémon in the area and you all catch it, that is definitely a highlight.”
After his story has continued to spread, Currie has started to be recognised in New Zealand and he is hearing from those around the world wishing him luck on his journey.
“I have been approached by a few other Pokémon 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.”
His quest will inevitably come to an end, at which point he will return to work. He closed, “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 Pokémon.”