Bucket List Family: 38 countries in 21 months​

From left: Dorothy, Jessica, Garrett and Manilla Gee have traveled the world over the past few years and have created the successful blog “The Bucket List Family.” Their story has been featured by many large news outlets such as “The Today Show,” People Magazine, Business Insider and Cosmopolitan. (The Bucket List Family)

The Gee family — Garrett, Jessica, Dorothy and Manilla — set off in August 2015 for French Polynesia, where they would spend five months in the South Pacific before returning home for Christmas.

“That’s when we decided we wanted to continue to travel,” Jessica said. “Now it’s been 21 months, and we’ve been to 38 countries.”

Jessica said she and Garrett plan to continue traveling full-time as “the Bucket List Family” as long as it feels right.

The Gee family has visited 38 countries in the past 21 months. They frequently catalog their adventures on their Instagram account, where they have amassed over 545,000 followers. (The Bucket List Family)

When Garrett was a freshman at BYU, he built his first app, Scan, and sold it four years later to Snapchat for $54 million.

In 2016, Garrett and his family sold nearly everything they owned to begin their family adventure around the world. Garrett said his experiences traveling and creating a blog, “The Bucket List Family,” to capture the adventures have been very rewarding.

“I’ve loved creating a brand around my family and the values that we hold,” Garrett said.

Garrett said some of his old investors have asked when he plans to stop traveling and go back to work, but Garrett and Jessica have built another successful business from their travels.

Jessica said the family blog and social media now pay for their adventurous travels.

“It started off as a family vacation, but now has turned into a family business of sorts,” Jessica said. “Garrett does all the photography, videography and editing. I do all of the travel planning, brand management and posting to social media.”

Garrett said he has a few business ideas he wants to pursue when the travels slow down, but until then he’s focused on staying busy with the current venture. He said his advice to entrepreneurs would be to build the skills needed to develop their ideas as far as they can.

“Learn to code, design, etc., yourself instead of paying someone else to build what you have dreamed up,” Garrett said. “That way, even if your business fails, you’ve learned a lot and gained some valuable skills along the way.”

Jessica said New Zealand has been her favorite spot the family has visited, and she’s trying to convince her husband to move there. She said Garrett’s favorite spot has been Vava’u, Tonga, where the family spent two weeks free-diving with humpback whales.

“The feeling of swimming right next to a huge humpback whale and even touching the fluke of a mother was his favorite moment of all our travels so far,” Jessica said.

Jessica said her daughter Dorothy’s favorite place is Kyoto, Japan, where she loves eating udon noodles and riding bikes. Her son, Manilla, mostly enjoys New York City, London and Japan, where the family can ride the “choo-choo trains.”

Jessica said she’s amazed at how well her two children do with the travel and inconsistency.

“Dorothy says each night in her prayers that she is grateful for our travels,” Jessica said. “Manilla loves planes, and Dorothy prefers the long flights … even more than we do.”

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