10,000 euros: that’s the amount an Instagram couple hopes to gather via a Gofundme campaign in order to pay for their trip to South Africa by tandem bicycle. Why don’t Catalin Onc and Elena Engelhardt just go to work? “Too harmful for us”, it sounds. But how have the lovebirds managed to travel the world so far? “My mother sponsors us. She is responsible for two jobs,” is the honest answer of the tattooed twenties. After six days, the counter of the collection campaign is already at 200 euros.
Bali, Nepal, Italy, London, Paris, Denmark, … No shortage of beautiful destinations on the Instagram page of this couple from Hesse, Germany. However, the fact that Catalin and Elena are now simply asking money for their next venture is going down the wrong way for the majority of their followers.
“We have no other choice, otherwise we cannot continue our activities,” said Catalin. “Some people will think that we have to go to work and that this mess must stop. But if our photos have such an impact on other people’s lives, we actually have no choice. Yes, we could play a model and earn money quickly, but we don’t want to participate in that urge to consume. At the moment, a normal job would be harmful to us. ”
Is it okay that his mother takes care of all the costs? “We never asked for money from her, she just likes to help us. Unfortunately, there is not much left for her that way. Mama, I want you to know that you are not only doing it for us. Our thousands of followers are fully enjoying it. During my recent treks in the Himalayas I have seen how others live and I have also learned more about myself. I would think it selfish to say goodbye to Instagram.”
“We could lead a fake luxury life and only unpack with it, as most people do on social media. But we deliberately do not choose that. We are honest that we have little and we learn a lot from that. ”
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Wow you guys can't imagine how excited I am for life..and our future. Sometimes it feels like butterflies in my stomach, thinking about what could happen. In the last few years, so many unexpected and amazing things happened which were never planned. Cat and I don't really plan our future, we're talking a lot about what we'd love to do but we kind of take it how it comes, always flexible, free and ready to take the opportunity when the right one appears. Soon I'll be going to Nepal but Cat's visa is expiring not long after so we'll probably be going back to Germany. What's going to happen over there, no idea.. not sure how long we'll stay, what we'll do and where we'll go next. Only thing I know is that we'll do it together. Being apart from each other for most of the time in the past 7 months was good for our relationship and us as individuals but a new chapter is about to start and I can't wait to find our where life will take us Photo // collaboration with beautiful villa @villashaktitawa and @studiosolveig + @sallytm
The money raised must be used, among other things, to be able to buy bicycles, cycling equipment, accommodation and SIM cards in the different countries. “That way we can keep you constantly informed of our experiences. A dollar, a seat, a garden for our tent, … All help is welcome.”
“We could write long texts about mental well-being and how important it is to step out of your comfort zone. We could express in words how beautiful traveling is, but we prefer to show it to you. Fewer chats, more action. That’s why we need you. Together we can make the difference. ”
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LITTLE UPDATE For those who don't know it yet, Cat is hiking in the himalayas. Currently they are on the Annapurna circuit, which apparently is one of the most beautiful treks. Not sure what exactly is happening over there but according to Cat the trek was closed due to bad weather which caused the death of people hiking not long ago. It just opened again about a week ago. I haven't heard from him, so I'm guessing they currently haven't got any reception up there but I'm not worried yet. I'm happy he isn't on his own, @arnaudmoro is filming the adventure and a couple other guys have joined them. I'm here for you guys until Cat has internet access again. Wishing you all the most beautiful day, make the most of it! Elena PHOTO @studiosolveig Thanks again @villashaktitawa for having us 💛
The responses to that call leave nothing to be desired for clarity. “Your mother works twice as hard to pay for your trip. What about her mental well-being, you think? This is one big joke, your high self-esteem is just ridiculous,” writes one Instagram user. Or: “The only thing you promote is laziness. Getting money from strangers to pay for your permanent vacation is one of the most narcissistic things I’ve ever seen.”, another one comments.
Even their most loyal fans start asking themselves questions. “I’ve been following you for a long time and I like you, but this seems like a pure trip for your own pleasure. I don’t see what it could be for someone else. ”
“I am depressed. I never leave my house. Traveling could give my life a new boost, but not a hair on my head that is thinking of making others pay for it.”