Catalin Onc and Elena Engelhardt earned the disapproval of netizens when they launched a fundraising campaign to fund their trip to Africa. Image: Screengrab from Instagram/@another_beautiful_day_official

Instagram influencers under fire for asking strangers to fund their travels

June 18th, 2019

A couple on Instagram gained flak for organizing an online fundraising campaign for their trip to Africa.

Catalin Onc and Elena Engelhardt set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for their trip, as per the couple’s official account on June 9. The influencers issued a statement two days later on Instagram revealing that they accept money from Engelhardt’s mother.

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We could write a long text about mental health or global warming. We could tell you about following your dreams, or how important stepping out of your comfort zone is. We could tell you how beautiful traveling is, and it’s benefits, or the fact that most news don’t match reality. But we’re going to show you!  Less talking more action. Starting on the 20th of July in the middle of Germany, on a tandem, me and Eli  will cycle towards Africa, and hopefully beyond. We want to take you all on this huge adventure. A celebration of life, as we ride freely across mountains, by the sea and through metropolitans. We will show the beauty of this planet and it’s inhabitants, but also the ugliness. But we can not do this on our own. We need you! The funds we raise will go towards the bike and gear, food and accommodation (when needed), internet and SIM cards in every country to keep you up to date, insurance, emergencies. We need funds now for preparation as well as throughout our trip. Every dollar, every message, every couch or garden for our tent, any help you can offer will help us go further.  We hope you all enjoy and learn with us. TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE another beautiful day with love Cat and Eli Link in bio Or paypal [email protected]

A post shared by CAT AND ELI (@another_beautiful_day_official) on

“Starting on the 20th of July in the middle of Germany, on a tandem, me and Eli will cycle towards Africa, and hopefully beyond,” Onc said on their Instagram post. “But we can not do this on our own. We need you.”

“We could tell you about following your dreams, or how important stepping out of your comfort zone is. We could tell you how beautiful traveling is, and [its] benefits, or the fact that most news don’t (sic) match reality.”

According to the couple, the funds will go to their biking gear, food, accommodation and SIM cards for updating their followers.

“We need funds now for preparation as well as throughout our trip,” they appealed. “Every dollar, every message, every couch or garden for our tent, any help you can offer will help us go further.”

While some of the couple’s followers praised their campaign, many netizens voiced out their disapproval. One Instagram user with the handle @kyle_thomas3 called them out with a question: “Your mom works two jobs to pay for your trip, don’t you think that’s impacting her mental [health]? It’s sad this isn’t all a joke, the self-importance you have is ridiculous.”

netizen

Image: Screengrab from Instagram/@another_beautiful_day_official

But the couple defended themselves from the comment about Engelhardt’s mother’s mental health. “Sorry Kyle but you know nothing about my mother or me. All the best on your journey.”

Instagram user @eyedee said that the couple is sending a harmful message to their followers: “That you travel the world under someone else’s dime on the pretense that you’re spreading a positive mental health message is incredibly irresponsible and naive. Extreme sense of entitlement is mentally unhealthy in itself.”

netizen

Screengrab from Instagram/@another_beautiful_day_official

The couple’s fundraising campaign has gained €220 (almost P13,000) of their €10,000 (about P580,000) goal, as of this writing. NVG

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