Garrett Gee has seen more of the world than your average 28-year-old.
The Utah native, along with his wife Jessica, and their two young kids, has spent the last 18 months traipsing the globe as The Bucket List Family. In 2016 alone, they visited 23 countries, sustaining their lifestyle for the past year through sponsorships and earnings from their blog and social media channels.
“For us this isn’t a vacation. This is a lifestyle and a career,” Gee told Business Insider.
Before they took off to travel indefinitely, Gee completed a brief stint working for Snapchat, the Silicon Valley stalwart that purchased his company, Scan, for $54 million in 2014. Gee banked his cut from the sale (which he declined to specify to Business Insider) and hasn’t touched the money since.
It was during his time at Snapchat that Gee realised his general distaste for the 9-to-5 work life. He was turned off by the “meaningless rules” and “confused by the prioritised importance of time in office over actual productivity and value creation,” he said.
“Perhaps the corporate life is a better fit for other personality types, but not for me. My mind and soul function best when I’m free and living true to myself, my passions, and my values,” Gee said. Looking back, that’s exactly what he would advise any other young person to do: Cultivate your passions.
“In today’s world, perhaps more than ever, you can make money doing whatever you’re passionate about. I’ve found this especially true in my own life. Not only am I at my best when I follow my passions, but I’m especially terrible whenever I attempt to do something I that doesn’t have my full care or attention,” he said.
For now, Gee’s attention is focused on growing the family’s brand — he and Jessica both spend about 20 hours a week managing their blog, social media channels, and partnerships. “Our social medias are, in a very real way, like mini companies. They create real value and as they grow so does their financial worth,” he said.
The family also has a passion for service, Gee said. Last year, they helped raise a total of $75,000 to fund a school in India, in part through sales of their “adventure headband.”
“I’m young, and I want to keep my hardworking entrepreneurial spirit alive and well. I don’t want to get comfortable. I don’t want to settle down. So for me, I’m starting back at zero and building my way up. Again,” he said.
Since he stepped away from corporate life, Gee says he’s learned a lesson that he hopes to pass on to his children and other young people.
“This is something that changed my life and something that I’m trying to help my own children learn: Know your worth!” he said. “The more you understand your potential and value yourself, the better you will be at following your dreams and avoiding dead-end jobs.”
Follow along with the family’s 2017 travel adventures on their website.
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