By Louis Chan
AsAmNews National Correspondent
AsAmNews continues its countdown of the five most popular stories of 2016 with number three, a look both back and ahead with the Gee family. they’re the Filipino American millionaires now entering their 16th month of an around the world journey.
Garrett and Jessica Gee, aka the Bucket List Family, may be the coolest social media reality stars, the Kardashians not withstanding.
Back in August of 2015, they decided to sell all their belongings to subsidize their around the world trip. So they move out of their small Provo, Utah apartment with their two children, Dorothy, now 4, and Manila, 2, and began their journey.
It helped that Garrett, 26, sold his start up, Scan, to Snap Chat for a whopping $54 million.
The Mormon couple who met while on a mission in Russia in 2007 chose to put all that money into a savings account and are instead living off the $45,000 they earned selling their possessions along with the income generated from their You Tube channel.
“I learned that I’m happier and more stress-free living a minimalistic lifestyle,” said Garrett to AsAmNews.
They are currently back stateside for the holidays, but plan to go on with their indefinite journey at least through July to the Philippines, South Africa, Maldives, The Galapagos and Scandinavia. There have no idea when their journey will end.
“We plan to go until we feel we should stop,” Jessica told AsAmNews about the trip that was originally scheduled for just six months. She described the family’s schedule as still up in the air.
Along the way, the family has shared their wealth with those less fortunate. The couple is now in Disneyland with two needy families it brought along with them. The Rachels and Scotts were selected from a list of 1,000 families nominated by others who felt they were deserving.
Here’s the crew!! ❤️💙❤️ Disneyland has always been a special place for our family. Last month, we announced that we were going to pay it forward and surprise 1 lucky family with a trip to join us! We had so many incredible nominations from you that it was literally too difficult to pick just 1..So we picked 2!! ❤️💙❤️ /// #family #bucketlist #disneyland #adventure #disney #travel #vlog /// @suite_escapes @southwestair @disneyland @mallyb88 @simonandrachel06 @mindysland1 @thebucketlistfamily
During their trip, they’ve also had the opportunity to help an orphanage in Bali, launch a hackathon in Nepal to fight human trafficking and serve refugees in Germany.
They’ve also found time to swim with humpback whales in Tonga, hop with kangaroos in Dominica, and dive with sharks in Tahiti.
“I’ve never done something so unconventional before,” said Jessica. “This isn’t something I have always wanted to do or something we set-off to do. I like my comfort zone and don’t usually branch out.”
When the trip comes to end, they don’t expect their young children to remember much, but they do hope their children will leave knowing the importance of family, value their time together, and become more open minded and learn to be accepting of other cultures.
“My favorite aspect is bringing my kids to play with other children of different races, religions and cultures,” she said. “We love seeing the kids just play, sing and dance because their are kids. They don’t care about the fact that they can’t communicate.”
Other highlights were staying at a castle in Scotland, riding a hot air balloon in Turkey, off-roading in the desert of Dubai and having a private tour of the Vatican.
Jessica and Garrett also hope the trip brings them closer together as a couple.
“I’ve always known my wife was a personable person, but it’s been so fun to see her interact with people from all over the world,” said Garrett. “She’s so good at making people feel welcome and loved.”
“My husband never ceases to amaze me. He is always working and always pushing to do more. He has so many incredible ideas and will always put in the work to see them come through. I’ve loved working along side with him. It has it’s challenges, but he is an incredible example of hard work, diligence and creativity.”
When the trip does come to an end, what does Garrett think they will do next?
“Good question! We’re trying to figure that out.”
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