Is Travel Influencing Still Authentic When Your Parents Foot The Bill?

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With Instagram influencers, how the sausage gets made is a poorly-kept secret. Most people know, at this point, that Instagram personalities don’t fund their own lifestyles but rather get help through brand partnerships, whether or not those partnerships are clearly stated. After all, traveling the world, wearing brand-new clothes, idling in picture-perfect hotel rooms and basking in infinity pools — these things aren’t cheap.

And in the quest to fund an upcoming bike trip from Germany “to Africa,” one couple let slip that their funding sources are even less egalitarian than a brand partnership. Travel influencer Catalin Onc, a German man who is one half of 46k-follower-strong @another_beautiful_day_official, recently let slip that his mom works a second job to fund his travels with his girlfriend, Elena Engelhardt.

According to Buzzfeed News, the couple mentioned their funding source when they shared a crowdfunding campaign for their bike trip “to Africa” (not specifying which of the 54 countries on the African continent they’re visiting) on Facebook.

Onc’s mom works two jobs so Onc and Engelhardt can travel to locations like Bali, Kathmandu, and Paris, where they take photos of him striking contortionist poses and climbing things he shouldn’t, and then write captions about living life authentically and boldly.

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Who knows where this is? Photo taken by @motherlode_

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

Per Buzzfeed, the very-privileged vagabond wrote a now-deleted post explaining why his mom helps them out, “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.”The admission has raised the ire of many, who have taken to their Instagram to leave comments such as “#MomPaidForItTho,” “Chilling while mom is working to support this,” and, “How did you afford a trip to Kathmandu??? Wtf??? ?? hoooow???”

The irony of this admission, in light of the duo’s live-authentic brand, was not lost either. When they announced their next trip on GoFundMe, they explained why they’re seeking out €10,000 for their bike trip: “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.”