An influencer couple in Germany is getting dragged on Instagram after revealing that one of their mothers works two jobs to pay for their globetrotting lifestyle.
Catalin Onc and Elena Engelhardt are a married couple who run an Instagram account called "Another Beautiful Day." It's full of professional-looking photos of the pair on their travels around the world, to places like Bali, Indonesia, as well as Nepal, France, and Italy. It provides the usual Instagram fodder to its 44,000 followers — pretty people striking weird poses in pretty places.
The next continent the couple has their sights set on is Africa, so they made a GoFundMe campaign to fund a biking trip from Germany to...Africa. (Yes, they just said "Africa," not any specific country.) And that's where everything went downhill.
They're seeking 10,000 euros — or a little over $11,000 — to cover what appears to be everything you would actually need to take a lengthy cycling trip. That includes accommodation, SIM cards, and even the bikes themselves. But the "why" of it all is pretty vague.
"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," their GoFundMe page explains.
"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," they wrote.
They also want "less talking more action" and promised that "TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE."
The couple then shared the campaign on Facebook, where they admitted they don't work and fund their trips thanks to Onc's mom, who works two jobs.
"Some will tell us to get jobs, like everyone else and stop begging. But when you have the impact we do on others life, getting a job is not an option," he wrote in a now-deleted post, screenshots of which were posted into the comments on their GoFundMe page, where they were seen by BuzzFeed News.
"We could model and make fast money, but we don't want to advertise consumerism. A normal job at this point would be detrimental," he continues.
(The bio on their Instagram profile includes "📩 modelling," seeming to indicate that people should message them for modeling opportunities.)
He also noted his mother funds them but "has not much herself."
People, shockingly, didn't like that so much. Since then, their Instagram comments and the comments on the GoFundMe page have been flooded with backlash.
"The ugliness you’re showing the world is your narcissism. There are plenty of people who work 40 hell even 80 hours a week just to make ends meet. That never get to take an entitled vacation," wrote one person.
"I want to donate to help your poor mother go on vacation instead of you two douchebags," said another.
That all prompted them to post a follow-up on Instagram.
"We could live a lavish lifestyle and only show that, like most people on social media do. We choose not to. We have seen how people are around us when we have money and when we don’t," they wrote.
"Some people are quick to judge and speak. At this very moment we don’t have much, we are accepting money from my mother and also donations but we don’t hide that."
The post includes photos of them on vacation, doing yoga by a pool, and drinking wine in bed.
BuzzFeed News has reached out to the couple for comment.
This week, they decided to take a step back from social media, according to a post Monday.
"I am going on a walk. I will walk as long as I possibly can. No sleep, No social media, No distractions. Just me and my brain out there," the caption read. "Time to do some soul work."
"Try walking to a job interview," the first comment read.