Most of us don’t even think about making a Bucket List, until we reach the later part of our lives. This is the story of a young couple, who decided to make their bucket list earlier in life. A list that would include their children too.
Our tale starts with romantic beginnings. Imagine, if you will, two young people meeting in a flower shop in Russia. Here, they both worked as missionaries. Now, our tale stretches out to the four corners of the world.
Garrett Gee sees himself as the captain of the family. Although he’s first to admit that it’s his wife “who wears the trousers.” As a freshman in college, he created a successful mobile app, with some friends. The app and their business went on to sell for 54 million dollars. Deciding what to do with such a windfall, they spurned the normal choices. Most of us would choose luxuries, such as cars and new homes. Instead, they did something unusual. Without touching the money they had earned from the sale of the app, they set off around the world, on an adventure that would help shape their lives, for the better.
Together, they have brought two beautiful children into the world. Dorsey, (Dorothy) the eldest daughter, and their son Nilla (Manilla), the baby of the family. Garret is a health and fitness fanatic, and always looking for new ways to keep fit. Settie, (Jesicca), the real captain of the family, worked as an online marketer and web developer, after graduating. She helped to support them, while Garrett worked on his own projects. Now, those projects have paid off, big time. Such financial freedom, has allowed them to re-evaluate what it is that they want from life. Like Garrett, Settie loves to exercise and live a healthy lifestyle.
By now, you should be getting the picture. Here we have a young and energetic family. They have chosen to ignore the world of normality. Instead, they have decided that the world is their oyster. This young, successful couple, have taken themselves and their children, to experience life.
Garret and Settie, are alike in a lot of ways. They both had a yearning to learn more about the world. They both agreed that they needed to expand their horizons. What better way of doing this, than creating a family bucket list. One that would let them experience all that the world had to offer. Educating themselves on how they really wanted to fit into this world. As Settie explains, “What better way to teach the children about how other cultures live? Discovering the vast variety of animals in the world. This is a first-hand experience.”
To fund this dream, they held a huge yard sale. Selling all their worldly possessions, except for a few boxes of photos and journals.
And so, they began their adventure. Setting off on a six-month trip around the pacific ocean. They also planned to stay a few months in the glorious country of New Zealand. From the start, they recorded their journeys, and experiences. This would enable them to share their adventure with others. What better way to do this than through the world of social media. They now run a website, where you can link into their blog. You can also view the YouTube videos of their travels. Plus, the many photos of their journey of a life time, are on Instragram.
Initially, they kept to safe places, even funding companions to assist them, on their travels. This soon ate into their resources, and by month 4, the funds were all but spent up. But, what an adventure so far. Diving with humpback wales, being one of the highlights.
You might be thinking to yourself that is easy for them, they’ve got millions of dollars. But, the money from the sale of the business went straight into the bank, for investment, and as a future safety net. The money from the yard sale, around $55,000 funded their adventures. They lived a frugal existence and made careful choices on what to spend those funds on. Once the money ran out, they made the decision to make the journey pay for itself. Raiding their savings was not an option.
Garret had already created an online presence. Doing this through his recordings of their journey, and sharing it on social media. They did not have many followers at that time, but if they could build them up, they knew that it could help to finance their trip. That is exactly what they did. The couple first began sharing their adventures on their website (thebucketlistfamily.com). Once they were well into sharing content, and building a following, they began approaching sponsors. Creating a successful brand, all helping to fund their travel, along the way. Then, expanding that brand into a successful enterprise. They are now retailers of “adventure bands,” one of the products they create. They describe the band as a versatile all-in-one trek tool, inspired by the Nepal prayer flag, they had seen on their travels. Some of the proceeds from the sale of these bands, is also donated to charitable causes.
Their charitable work does not end there. Both are always seeking ways to help those less fortunate than themselves. They have helped a family of five, who were going through hard times, by funding a trip to Disneyland. Their constant stream of donations remains anonymous. Settie has helped towards 5 people to undergo LASIK surgery. The act of giving, makes them feel good. It drives them on, to continue doing so, as often as they can.
The family’s travels have shaped their whole outlook on life. As a couple, sharing their experiences side by side, they have developed a close devotion to each other. Their children also experience the love and devotion of their parents. This family experience showed them something new and different, almost every day of their lives.
The Gee family’s bucket list continues to grow. Settie, would one day love to have her own vegetable garden, while Garrett hopes to swim with Orca whales. Perhaps, one day the Gee family will return to the normal folds of society. They sure will have a tale to tell their grandchildren. A whole catalogue of memories, of so many places and people they have met along the way.