"I used to look forward to Ibiza every summer, now I look forward to digging every summer."

Eelyn Oliver, who was born and lives in Carlisle, is perhaps better known on Facebook as the 'International Man of History'. 

His personal blog, which remembers 'the good, the bag and the ugly' moments from history, has achieved immense popularity since he set it up in 2019, and now reaches around 10 million people each month.

The 34-year-old has always loved history, but the topics covered in school didn't really pique his interest. 

After swapping club for culture, and drinking for thinking, Eelyn is now able to properly pursue his passions of history, fossil hunting and archaeology.

News and Star: Eelyn in Cairo last yearEelyn in Cairo last year (Image: Supplied)

He said: "After leaving school, all I was really interested in was partying with my friends. Every holiday involved clubbing and for about 10 years that's pretty much all I did. I still loved history, especially the Anglo-Scottish wars, but not to the extent I do now. I don't think there is any part of history that I find boring.

"Croatia in 2018 was my last clubbing holiday. I was 29 and I came back from that holiday in a right mess, physically and mentally. I was sick of clubbing, so when I arrived back in England I decided to book a history trip to Rome and Pompeii. I went on my own in September 2018 and I've gone solo abroad ever since, to Venice, Athens and Krakow in 2019, and Cairo in 2023."

Eelyn set up the page after his trip to Athens in 2019, after he uploaded a few photos of himself at the religious sanctuary of Delphi, titling the post 'International Man of History'. 

News and Star: Eelyn a little closer to home, at the Sycamore Gap tree before its tragic fellingEelyn a little closer to home, at the Sycamore Gap tree before its tragic felling (Image: International Man of History)

A couple of days later, he posted about the battle of Thermopylae and his friend James messaged him suggesting he set up a personal blog - the rest they say, is history.

Eeelyn said: "I never expected much to come from it. In two years the page following grew to over 44,000."

Unfortunately, a complication saw him lose the page and he was forced to set up a new one in April 2021, before Facebook realised their mistake and all restrictions were lifted. 

Since then, the page following has grown to 82,000 and continues to rise at about 1,000 per week on average.

Eelyn added: "I've written at least two posts that have reached over eight million people. The time and commitment I'm putting into researching and writing about history is definitely being rewarded at the moment."

The father-of-two was recently involved in the archaeological digs at the Roman bathhouse in Carlisle, a medieval building near Longtown, and Vindolanda Roman Fort in Northumberland.

He concluded: "I used to look forward to Ibiza every summer, now I look forward to digging every summer. I can't get enough of it. All I'm interested in now is looking after my family and pursuing my love for history. Maybe my children Edison and Isla will grow up to love history as much as I do. That would be great. 

"My target for the page is to keep writing, keep learning, and keep enjoying my hobby. Anything else is a bonus."