Each month we’ve been sharing one of Omika’s values – our fifth value is, “DISCOVER: Learn and immerse yourself in the unknown.” This value is important as it serves as a reminder to explore new ways of doing things, learn, and improve. There is so much to explore in life, and the Gee family, also known as The Bucket List Family, are inspiring thousands around the world with their adventures. We were so amazed and humbled by their journey that we just had to share it with you.
Jessica, your adventures with Garrett, Dorothy and Manilla are amazing – you’ve both worked hard to get to this point in your lives – can you tell us the top three characteristics that influenced your journey?
Adventurous – I’m amazed at the fun and joy I receive when I put myself outside of my comfort zone. I dove with sharks and whales, went skydiving and bungee jumping, and sold everything I own. The last one was the hardest! But the experiences and memories I’ve made have been priceless.
Family-focused – All the choices we’ve made with careers, moving, education, travel, health and faith is always based around family. We’ve learned that our greatest joy will be found in family, so we always are striving to put that first.
Optimism – Even when flights are cancelled, we’re homesick on Thanksgiving, or we have no A/C in our room in Thailand, we are always grateful for the opportunities we’ve been given and all of our blessings. It’s easy to get frustrated and angry while you travel, but being positive and grateful makes your life easier and happier!
Can you tell us about a challenging time you had while you were both working/studying, a moment where you felt insurmountable obstacles, and what you did to overcome them?
A few years after we were married, I was working full-time at a nearby marketing company while my husband was in school. I was so frustrated with my job. I didn’t like my boss and the way the company was moving. I was so unhappy. My husband kept telling me that if I didn’t like it I should just quit. I thought he was crazy. You can’t just quit! What about finances? What about insurance? What about finding a new job? He encouraged me to take the plunge and work for myself. And I did. If I wanted to find happiness, I had to go out and get it. Not just wait for someone else to give it to me.
One of your travel goals is to ‘live a life of service and compassion’. Why do feel compassion is important and how have you seen this in others as you have travelled with your family?
We want ourselves and our kids to be better at seeing the world through someone else’s eyes. If we can see more of how other people live, then we will have more compassion and love for everyone in the world.
We recently spent a morning at a special needs school. We worked with eight young kids who had severe mental and physical handicaps. I was so happy to show my daughter how to talk, play and love these special needs children. Even though some of them can’t walk, talk, hear or do what we do, we love them so much!
During your travels you have been proactive in giving, instilling a passion for philanthropy into your family’s life. We’ve noticed that you have helped a number of people throughout your travels, such as volunteering at orphanages and helping a college student continue his education. Can you tell us the influence these experiences have had on you and your family?
These experiences have been very faith building for myself and my family. When we have prayed to be guided by God to help those in need, we’ve been given answers. It has been such a joy to be a hand piece for the Lord.
You’ve been travelling far and wide – one of Omika’s values is “DISCOVER: Learn and immerse yourself in the unknown.” Can you share with us some of the learning experiences you have had during your travels that have been impressed upon your heart?
We’ve recently had the amazing opportunity to see many of God’s creations up close. We’ve seen giant leatherback turtles lay their eggs, a mother sperm whale nurse her calf and hundreds of dolphins work together to feed themselves. I’m inspired and humbled by the incredible animals on this planet.
We’re excited to see what the future holds for this family, or rather, what future they will create! You can read more at www.thebucketlistfamily.com.
Images courtesy of The Bucket List Family.