As concerns about the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic continue to sweep across our nation, many people have found themselves redefining the word “normal.”
Things such as high school and college graduations are having to be performed virtually as graduates are not allowed to gather for a celebration of their achievements. Religious services are being conducted virtually as well. Not to mention the numerous weddings that have been postponed, the new regulations on conducting a funeral service for a loved one, and the myriad of business trips and vacations that have been placed on hold. For many people, the future has a certain air of uncertainty.
The Gee family – Jessica, her husband Garrett, and their three children Dorothy (7), Manilla (5), and Calihan (2) – are a family that is adapting to a life of not knowing where they are headed next. On their YouTube channel, which has garnered one million subscribers, the family shares their travels to more than 75 countries over the past four years.
In a June cover story for Parents Magazine, “The Bucket List Family” as they are more popularly known from their documented adventures on YouTube, talked openly about their lives, sharing great memories and tips for the future.
The family is currently based in Hawaii and because of the pandemic have had to cancel upcoming trips to the Middle East, South Korea, and Russia. In the interview, Jessica told Parents Magazine, “While there is so much unknown, we remain optimistic. Meanwhile, we are embracing little things like family dance parties and making them grand. You can create bucket-list moments every day.”
Jessica also recalled that the first time that Manilla went snorkeling and the first time that Calihan swam in the ocean happened on an island called Ray Cave in Belize. She said, “The water was crystal clear and smoother than we’ve ever seen. I will never forget how perfect those moments seemed with just our little family experiencing firsts together.”
Some people may think that traveling around the globe with three young children is anything but a vacation, however, Garrett believes in letting his kids guide the way. He said, “We actually see so much more, thanks to the kids. They notice things that we don’t, such as the little fairy homes in the forests of New Zealand, and they make experiences more magical, like the time they rubbed every single lamp in Turkey’s Grand Bazaar looking for a genie. Plus, they are so good at socializing, you meet many other families through their introductions.”
The family has also started a campaign called “Kindness vs. Coronavirus” to help with the COVID-19 relief efforts. They are they are matching donations made to people who need things like groceries or paying bills. In an Instagram post, they wrote, “With any bad tragedy is the opportunity for good to rise up. Especially as families, neighbors, and even strangers that need a helping hand.”