Joseph Snode, 26, was travelling the world when he was involved in a car crash in New Zealand and was killed instantly – now his family has paid tribute to the photography enthusiast
A British backpacker has been killed in a crash while on a Lord of the Rings tour of New Zealand.
Joseph Snode was killed after a tragic car crash while on a ‘journey of a lifetime’ after he set off to travel the world in September. The 26-year-old of Westcliff-on-Sea, was involved in a horror smash where he died instantly and others suffered minor injuries.
Before beginning his travels he attended St Mary’s Primary School and Belfairs Academy in Essex and obtained a first class degree in film and photography at the University of Buckingham in High Wycombe.
His mum paid tribute to her son who she said was “full of smiles” and “loved all over the world” after his death. The 26-year-old had set off on the journey of a lifetime, but his trip was cut short on January 28. An avid fan of photography, music and media, he had wanted to travel the world since he was a young boy.
While at university, he worked at the student union and continued this in the years after his graduation. He also worked at various festivals in the UK, including Glastonbury and Reading, saving money for his trip around the world.
EssexLive reports he had travelled through Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and the Philippines. He had also met a partner on his travels but they had been travelling separately at the time of his death. Since then, his family have launched a fundraising page in his memory to cover the costs of his funeral, as Joseph’s travel insurance only covers the repatriation. Joseph leaves behind his parents and older sister. His mum Elaine said the family have been overwhelmed by the wealth of loving messages from across the world since her son’s death.
She said: “He was loved by lots of people which has been obvious from all the donations we’ve had so far. Every day we’ve been hearing from people that he’s met and stayed in touch with. He had a passion for photography. This was one of the reasons why he wanted to travel; he wanted to do photography and filming as he went around the world.
“He was always full of smiles, he made friends with everyone that he met. He was planning on travelling after leaving uni, but then Covid reared its ugly head and stopped that. He worked through uni at the student union bar and was promoted. He worked very hard in that for four years saving money. He worked at festivals like Glastonbury and Reading. He was asked to do higher up positions each time; he ended up managing people. He again made so many friends there.
“A lot of people said he was the sort of person that would help them if they were struggling, any problems he was always there. He was so kind and considerate, he just had a lovely way about him. He never judged anyone, he accepted people for who they were and tried his best to get on with everyone.”
Elaine said their family are all massive Lord of the Rings fans, which is what drew Joseph to New Zealand. She continued: “He wanted to visit the film sets, which was thrilling for him and for us to hear. He stayed with his friend, we were just constantly getting photos from him and stories about people he was meeting. He loved being with people but also loved being on his own; going for a long hike, pitching his tent and being on his own with nature.”
“He loved music, he had different genres for different times that he liked to share. Travelling is something he wanted to do since quite a young age, he never wanted to settle down in one place, he liked to meet people. He had his backpack and tent and would go on a walk and go down to the park with friends.”
The family’s Gofundme page has raised more than £8,000 within days, eclipsing their initial £6,000 target. Elaine added: “We’re all just completely blown away that have come out in support and love him like we do, he has literally touched lives all over the world. It’s not just school friends, it’s friends across the globe. We want to do this memorial service and celebration for him, and any money that’s leftover will go towards a charity in his name.”