Brunchettes: The Bucket List Family

Video: Katie Cheesman Music: Bensound

My friend Jess has a busy schedule full of traveling adventures, so when she said she’d do a Q&A at Brunchettes, I was so happy.

If you know me at all, you’re well aware of my love for traveling and my belief in the good it can do for health, happiness and family relationships.

Photos courtesy of Octavia Kathryn Photography and Katie Cheesman


After we ate a delicious brunch from Mountain Vista Catering, we watched one of my favorite videos of Jess and Garrett. As I told the Brunchettes guests, I feel like keeping up with The Bucket List Family’s vlogs is as fun as your favorite Netflix binge. We laughed and wanted to move to New Zealand as we watched this video:

I’m kicking myself for not recording our Q&A session, but I was too enthralled in hearing firsthand about Jess’s experiences. Here’s an attempt to paraphrase a bit of our conversation:

Jess shared with us what it is really like to be a full-time traveling family. She talked about the challenges of working with her husband, Garrett on the business they’ve built and sharing parenting responsibilities. She expressed her gratitude for Garrett being able to spend so much time with her and their two children, Dorothy and Manilla.

We asked Jess about the opportunities she and Garrett have had to bless other families in need. She got a little teary-eyed as she talked about being able to gift family trips to people with major struggles, physical and financial, and although she and Garrett have jumped off bridges and out of planes, they agree that anonymous service is the biggest rush they’ve ever felt.

She told us about the school she and Garrett are sponsoring in Nepal to help eliminate child trafficking. It’ll be completed in May, but she’s not sure she’s emotionally ready to go there again quite yet. Each Brunchettes speaker chooses a cause to donate to, and Jess picked Hogar Ines Chambers orphanage in Ecuador. She told us about her recent visit to the orphanage and how much help they need. To donate, click here. Jess received an e-mail from the orphanage thanking us for the donation, which they’re putting towards their first air conditioner to keep the kids comfortable in the Ecuadorian heat.

She shared what it’s like to be LDS and travel full-time. While she and her family attend church while they travel, she’s learned to rely more heavily on her faith and feels like her opportunity to see the world and interact with people in cultures different from her own has brought her closer to God than she’s ever been before.

I loved Jessica’s response to what they do when they receive negative comments about what they’re doing. She pointed out that everyone has two cents about how you raise your kids and how you spend your money, so she’s learned to be confident in their choices and quickly move on from negativity — but it’s something she’s had to work on.

I asked Jess what she’s learned about happiness from other cultures. The takeaway: So many other cultures are content with having so much less than we have, hope for and spend our time chasing.

Her favorite spot they’ve traveled so far? New Zealand. She’d love to live there.

Their scariest moment? A frantic alert for all Americans to leave Turkey immediately. They had a “What if we’re kidnapped” planning session, just in case. Luckily, they safely flew out the next day.

What next? They’re talking about slowing down towards the end of the year. They’re considering a number of places (both within and outside of the U.S.) to “settle down” for the next chunk of their lives, but traveling will always be part of how they live.

Thank you Jessica, for taking the time to be with us and share your incredible experiences and insights.

If you want to know more about Jess and The Bucket List Family, check these out:





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