Over the past eight years, Gee, a travel blogger known as “The Bucket List Mom,” has visited more than 90 different countries with her husband, Garrett, and their three children, Dorothy, Manilla and Calihan.
Gee, Garret and their three children around the world PHOTO Instagram The Bucket List Family
“It never occurred to me that “I want to travel around the world”Gee, of Denver, Colorado, told CNN Travel.
According to her, everything changed when her husband sold his app to Snapchat for $54 million in 2014 and decided to quit his office job.
As the two wanted to experience different cultures and “to learn a little”, they decided to take advantage of Garrett's fortune and go on trips.
So they planned an extended trip to Southeast Asia and decided to launch an Instagram page, “The Bucket List Family”, where to publish their adventures.
They set off around the world with Dorothy and Manilla, because their youngest, Calihan, was born while they were away – in August 2015.
They originally planned to spend just a few months traveling, to Thailand, Singapore, New Zealand and Australia, as well as the Pacific islands of Fiji and Tonga, but after returning to the US for a short time, they decided they wanted to continue .
So they continued to travel for three years, visiting dozens of countries around the world, including Germany, Morocco, Japan, Brazil, Guatemala and Dominica.
Gee lists Belize among her favorite “family friendly” destinations, described as a good “starting destination” for US families who aren't ready to venture too far.
It also recommends “incredible” Alaska for those looking for outdoor adventures for their kids.
“You have fishing, wildlife, whales and bears“, she says. “It's great for kids who are maybe a bit older – five years and up. But I took my two year old son there and he had a great time.”
Gee was also extremely impressed with Rwanda, a country in East Africa, a destination she was initially afraid to visit due to preconceptions.
Gee also says she's gotten used to extended trips and finds them easier than short-term trips, and says she often feels exhausted after a week's vacation.
“When I travel for a month or more, I get into a routine,” she says, adding that she packs more or less the same items whether she's traveling for a month, six months or two weeks.
A different school for children
Gee says he decided to focus on travel over private school expenses for his children. She says she plans to send the little ones to public schools and spend any extra money on a different kind of education, “one that we think is invaluable.”
“After all, travel provides one of the best educations there is. There is nothing quite like being there when you learn about the history of a placeGee told Business Insider.
“In France, our son walked around the clifftop village of Rocamadour, admiring the historical monuments (…) In Canada, he learned all about the meaning of Inuksuit, the stone monuments erected by the Inuit people (…) In Bali last year, we -we came face to face with the cheeky long-tailed monkeys that call Ubud's Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary home. At one point one of them jumped on my schoolbag and tried to steal it, which made the three kids laugh out loud“, she exemplified.
“We want them to learn how to embrace and celebrate diversity and how to show compassion to those less fortunate than ourselves. For us, it's an investment”, believes Gee.
3 million followers on Instagram
The children have got used to this way of life and, the woman says, they can't wait to go on a trip, and on the plane they feel at home. Gee says that the attitude of parents is very important when it comes to convincing children to go on trips.
The family's Instagram account 'The Bucket List' has amassed nearly three million followers over the years, and they later launched successful accounts on YouTube and TikTok, and revenue from partnerships with various companies helps support their travels .
Gee acknowledges that their situation is unique and there are many parents who simply cannot afford to travel around the world with their children.
She offers money management tips in her book The Bucket List Family Travel, including house swaps and budgeting apps, and encourages families to work out what they want to do on their trips and then try to “make it affordable” .
After three years of “full-time” travel, the family returned to the US, purchasing a home in Hawaii in 2018.
They continued to travel as a family in the years that followed and recently spent a whole in Africa.