Elena Engelhardt and her husband Catalin Onc have their eyes on a trip which will see them ride a tandem bike from Germany to Africa. While most people would have to save up for months to fund this kind of holiday, the influencers are hoping their online following will provide them with the money they need. The couple who have 36k followers on their Instagram page, have asked for $16,300 to fund their trip
Writing on their Go Fund Me crowdfunding page, the pair said:
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.
The pair, who’ve already share photos of them travelling the world, including places such as Bali, Nepal, India, Italy, London and Paris, insist that working would be “detrimental” to their lifestyle – and currently they are relying on Catalin’s mother for financial support.
In a comment which was deleted, Catalin wrote:
“At this very moment, my mother is funding us, she works two jobs and has not much herself.
“We didn’t ask her for money but she loves that she is able to help. Mum, I want you to know, that it is not only us but hundreds of others that benefit from your help.”
After posting the request to Instagram, Cat and Elena were met with stiff criticsim:
‘Your mom works two jobs to pay for your trip, don’t you think that’s impacting her mental heath? It’s sad this isn’t all a joke, the self importance you have is ridiculous,’ said one person.
"I just don’t really get how this helps people with mental health issues like myself ? This just seems like an adventure and a fun trip for you both and it has no significant reason to help anyone else in anyway… and taking pictures to show people and writing your journey down won’t and doesn’t help in any way and the beauty of travelling has nothing to do with either global warming or mental health awareness. Why don’t you start up a go fund me for a charity ? Or better yet make your own charity and then you’ll know where the money is going to be spent and could sponsor your own journeys with said money instead of straight up looking and sounding like privileged white people from Europe travelling the world while “e-begging” other people for their money so they can carry on claiming it to be done for a good purpose like mental health and global warming awareness… just comes off super pretentious and fake"
When questioned why they needed so much money from strangers to pay for their trip, Cat and Elena defended their request.
‘The reason we put 10000€ as a goal is because we plan on being out there for a long time. A proper bike and gear is expensive (we will find the cheapest) and whatever money is left will be used consciously e.g emergencies… we are putting our whole life into this. Social media is taking a lot of time and energy from the “real” world and we don’t plan on being here too long,’ they defended.