After Garrett Gee sold his app to Snapchat four years ago, the family had an opportunity to take some time to travel. Gee and his wife, Jessica, decided to pack their belongings and explore the world with their children. They documented those adventures as @thebucketlistfamily.
Their social success has landed them as finalists for the Travel Influencer of the Year category in this year's American Influencer Awards.
The American Influencer Awards celebrates the best in beauty, lifestyle, fashion and fitness. After nearly 550,000 nominations from more than 115,000 people, the finalists have been chosen. Vote for your favorite influencers by Sept. 30 here. The winners will be announced in November.
Find more information about the American Influencer Awards here.
The following is an excerpt from a conversation with the Gees about their background and goals. It was edited for space and clarity.
Q: How did you get started?
A: We were living in an apartment in Utah and I was going to school and also working on an iPhone app. I sold that app to Snapchat. It was Jessica's idea to take some time and travel, with the main goal to figure out what we wanted our future to be like. We planned four months of travel and then that four months of travel just spiraled into four years of full-time travel. We have been to 88 countries together as a family.
Q: What is the most common misconception that people have about working as an influencer?
A: To an outsider it looks like our lives are on non-stop vacation. But when friends or family join us on a trip, after about three days they realize how hard we work.
Q: What is the best part about being an influencer?
A: Experiencing the world as a family, making these family memories. Teaching our children about different people and different cultures, and learning together about animals.
Q: With the industry being so big, how do you remain true to yourself and unique?
A: It goes back to our intentions and goals at the beginning which was journal keeping. We are not just chasing the TikTok trends, we are documenting our family memories.
Q: If you were not a travel influencer, what would you be doing?
A: For me my first priority is always just being a mom, so I would probably work a lot less. - Jessica Gee
A: I'd be doing something entrepreneurial. - Garrett Gee
Q: You are a finalist for Traveler Influencer of the Year. Give me 3 reasons why people should vote for you (or why you should win).
A: We believe people shouldn't spend their lives on social media. I hope that people consume our content and it inspires them to go live a life. We also have three really cute kids.
Q: Where can viewers catch what is next for you?
A: Jessica just signed a book deal, writing a book for National Geographic, the 'Bible for family travel.' Garrett is working on the Bucket List Studio. We are taking our story and adventures and cartoon-ifying it. That is Garrett's new entrepreneurial venture.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: American Influencer Awards: Meet Travel finalists @thebucketlistfamily