A Utah cou­ple chooses a life of in­ter­na­tional ad­ven­ture over the sta­tus quo

In Touch (USA) - - Content -

Gar­rett Gee made a for­tune when he and his friends sold their com­pany, Scan, to Snapchat in 2014 for $54 mil­lion. But even with that fi­nan­cial se­cu­rity, Gar­rett, 30, and wife Jes­sica, 31, who were liv­ing in Utah with their two young chil­dren at the time, felt rest­less. “We were at this stage in our lives where we didn’t know what we wanted to do,” Jes­sica tells In Touch. So they sold all their be­long­ings and hit the road in Au­gust 2015. “We thought, ‘Let’s travel for a bit, fig­ure some things out, and we’ll come back in a few months and grow up.’”

Two years later, they’re still cir­cling the globe check­ing off items on their bucket list. From div­ing with great white sharks in South Africa, go­ing on sa­fari with kids Dorothy, 4, and Manilla, 2, and dress­ing up like Hara­juku girls in Tokyo to see­ing the Vat­i­can’s Sis­tine Chapel and frol­ick­ing among tor­toises and sea lions in the Galá­pa­gos Is­lands, they’ve done what most peo­ple who work 9-to-5 jobs only dream of. “It’s brought our fam­ily so close to­gether, and be­ing able to watch the kids grow up and ex­pe­ri­ence th­ese things has been price­less,” says Jes­sica, who used to work in mar­ket­ing. “We feel re­ally, re­ally blessed.”

Their life is noth­ing short of amaz­ing. They started in the South Pa­cific — Tonga (where they swam with hump­back whales), Fiji, New Zealand, Aus­tralia, Thai­land (where they hit the Lantern Fes­ti­val) and Sin­ga­pore. Trav­el­ing with three bags filled with a few changes of clothes each, swim­suits, cam­era equip­ment, snacks and a com­puter, they’ve since turned their ad­ven­tur­ing into a busi­ness thanks to a large so­cial me­dia fol­low­ing (they have a blog, The­buck­etlist­fam­ that’s led to part­ner­ships with

travel brands, air­lines, ho­tels and Airbnb (they stay in both) and tourism boards. (They use their per­sonal for­tune to sup­port hu­man­i­tar­ian causes on their trav­els.) Trips to Nepal, Turkey, Scot­land, Hawaii, Greece, the Ba­hamas, St. Kitts, Switzer­land and more stun­ning lo­cales have fol­lowed.

There have been a few chal­lenges along the way. “Missed flights, lost lug­gage, cranky kids, stitches,” says Jes­sica. They had bags stolen in South Africa, and miss their fam­ily and friends dearly. “That’s the hard­est part for sure,” says Jes­sica.

It will all come to an end next year so Dorothy can start kinder­garten. “We re­ally want our kids to have some sta­bil­ity and want them in school and sports and [to have] the so­cial as­pect. That’s re­ally im­por­tant to us,” ex­plains Jes­sica. “We just need to fig­ure out where that will be!”

— Re­port­ing by Ja­clyn Roth

“The coolest thing I’ve ever seen,” Jes­sica says of swim­ming with whales in Tonga. The Galá­pa­gos Is­lands was one of Jes­sica and Gar­rett’s fa­vorites. “The an­i­mals aren’t afraid of you — you can get so close,” she says.

ON SA­FARI IN SOUTH AFRICA “In­cred­i­ble,” Jes­sica says of an African sa­fari. She says they try not to over­load the kids with too many ac­tiv­i­ties. “We learned early on how im­por­tant a set sched­ule They’re is. in bed by 7 or 8 ev­ery night.”

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