For some families, traveling is a form of escape, a much-needed rest and relaxation to muster up enough energy to face anew the daily bustle of life. But that is not the case for this family where travel has become their lifestyle.
Introducing the "Bucket List Family," Garrett, Jessica, Dorothy, 3, and Manilla, 1, whose name is inspired by--you guessed it--Manila, Philippines, where Garrett's mom hails from. After selling his mobile app Scan to Snapchat for US$54 million (yup, you read that right), Garrett Gee thought buying a new house or car didn't feel right. Instead, he and his wife Jessica decided to sell all their stuff and travel the world--yes, with their two young kids in tow.
We know what you're thinking: They are on an extended travel vacation around the world because they have the resources to do so. Well, to clarify, they aren't really spending their millions for their trips. The couple decided to put that money in the bank and maintain a frugal lifestyle. What's funding their "bucket list" travels is cash they earned from their great yard sale where they sold everything--their car, furniture, and other belongings. They only kept two boxes of photos and journals.
The Bucket List family have been gone to more than 15 destinations including Indonesia, New Zealand, Bahamas, Hawaii, and Fiji. They youngest, Manilla, learned to walk in Tonga. They’ve had their share of unfortunate experiences, such as when Dorothy slipped in the hotel shower and needed stitches on her chin, but those instances have not dampened their free spirits. The family is currently in New York and planning where to go next.
That’s not all. In every bucket list destination the Gee family visits, they’ve been extending a helping hand to strangers in need. "We’ll find some anonymous way to help another family in need or anonymously give back to others," Gee told Balitang America. They have treated a family to a trip to Disneyland and funded LASIK eye surgery for a handful of people after Jessica went through the procedure herself. "We try and share and give gifts that we feel have greatly benefited our own lives," says Jessica. Just recently, they’ve chosen a family to send to a vacation trip to the Bahamas.
"We've learned to find happiness with less," Garrett told People, "and we've become more open-minded and open-hearted. We've learned about other cultures and where they seek happiness. Good, happy people, I've learned, come from everywhere." Garrett is also thankful that he’s been able be with his kids and spend so much time with them.
Their bucket list is not just about visiting place and being of service to others. It’s the little things all families should strive for—buying Dorothy a dress, watching Manilla score a goal in soccer, living in a lighthouse. Garrett and Jessica also wants to someday have their own vegetable garden, but they're not sure when that will happen. “We’ve loved life on the open road,” Garrett says.
Since Garrett’s ancestry is rooted in our very own, they do plan to visit the Philippines with his six siblings. "We want to explore all over the country," he said. "I love soccer so I would love to play soccer. My wife loves cooking so she wants to learn how to cook Filipino food. I LOOOOVE Filipino food. It is my favorite," Garrett told Coconuts Manila. We’re looking forward to that.