After selling his mobile scanning app to Snapchat last year for $54 million, Garrett Gee was faced with a decision: What to do next?
Then a student at Brigham Young University, where he was captain of the soccer team, Garrett, 25, sat down with his wife, Jessica, 29, at their modest Provo, Utah, apartment to discuss the possibilities.
"A new house and cars didn't feel right," the father of two tells PEOPLE exclusively. "We didn't need that stuff. We were young, healthy and really didn't need much of anything. So we started joking about putting our money in savings, selling everything and using those funds to travel the world. Where would we go? What would we do? And as we began to add more plans to our bucket list, it just became real."
That's why the The Bucket List Family, as Garrett, Jessica, and their two children, Dorothy, 3, and Manilla, 1, now call themselves, held a giant yard sale to sell everything except two boxes of photos and journals.
“We will travel until that runs out,” Gee told NextShark. “We will see how long it lasts. Perhaps some of my entrepreneurial skills will come into play and I’ll figure out a way to make that money stretch further and further. Or, if I’m really good, $45K will give me enough time to make our travels fuel themselves, or better yet, profitable. Anything is possible, right? Just keep intentions pure and attitudes positive”
On why the couple decided to travel, Gee explained: “We hope to learn more about life and become better people. We are excited about the memories that we will surely create together and the opportunities around the world we will have to serve others. Already it has become clear that the world is a big, open place with endless mindsets, cultures, and beliefs, none better than the others — just different.”
To make sure their $45,000 travel fund lasts as long as possible, the family is living as frugally as possible.
“[Being frugal] just comes kind of natural to us. It makes us uncomfortable to be thoughtless with money,” Gee explained. “We still buy the cheapest flight we can find, even if that means waking up at 4 a.m., and we still only drink water with our meals. I believe the best way to show gratitude for the blessings in life is humility, and one of the best ways to show humility is to live frugally.”
The family has spent the last four month traveling in the South Pacific, Australia, Thailand and New Zealand. They’re currently vacationing on the beaches in Bali, Indonesia.
“My personal favorite adventure thus far was back in Tonga. For over a year I had been researching and preparing to freedive in the waters of Tonga — with humpback whales! It was the most epic moment of my life.”
When it comes to his kids’ future education, Gee is a little hesitant in settling somewhere permanently.
“I’m very open-minded to the option of not settling down,” he told NextShark. “I’m open to non-traditional forms of education. I wasn’t a very good student. The typical education system actually made me feel stupid and bad about myself and gave me less confidence in my own ability to be creative and valuable.”
Gee also shared three factors to success he believes in:
1) Be impressive: success doesn’t just grace anyone and everyone. It seeks out impressive people — hard-working, talented, sincere, good-hearted people. Basically, be deserving of any success that wishes to find you.
2) Be yourself: it’s fine to learn from others and look up to those deserving, but let it stop there. The Facebook formula worked for Facebook — probably not for you. The Garrett Gee way was kinda cool for him, but not that cool. Always be learning more about yourself and always let that light shine bright!
3) Be successful: realize what success really is. That way, on your pursuit to ‘financial success’ you can enjoy real success. You can enjoy your health, your family, and the things that really determine success.