Keith & Tia Sims
Soulful RV Family

After 11 psychically demanding years in the trenches of NFL, Keith Sims was ready for the change of pace. Little did he know his wife, Tia, had been plotting for this very moment for years.

One big soulful family: Keith and Tia Sims

Keith is a former NFL player for the Dolphins and Redskins. He graduated from Watching Hills High School, and Iowa State University (Go Cyclones!) and Tia graduated from NovaHigh School ( FL) and Florida State University.

Together they have 6 children. Tia adopted her son Eddie( 27) and Keith has 2 kids from his 1st marriage ( Cairo-21, there only girl & Storm- 20). Together they have 3 little Boys: Keith Jr (8), Jayson (7) & Justin (5)

We had a pleasure of talking to this amazing family to chat about traveling around the country in an RV! You can also follow their adventures at www.soulfulrvfamily.com

Q: Tell us about soulfulrvfamily! and why did you start blogging about your trips?

I guess the number one reason goes back to when we were interested in the RV lifestyle. Before we got into it and were searching for our options… we struggled to find any “people of color” represented. Even when we talked to our family and friends about RVing, they thought we were crazy!… we often heard “ Black people don’t Camp or go RVing”. So, we wanted to be an encouragement to all those families of color who are curious or interested in RVing. I guess you can say we want to be the resource that we wish we had when we started this journey almost 5 years ago.

We’ve experienced almost 100 campgrounds from as far as  South Florida to Maine and South Dakota. In all the time, there is only been one campground when we did not feel completely welcome.

Q: Tell us about soulfulrvfamily! and why did you start blogging about your trips?

I guess the number one reason we started our social media and blog goes back to when we were interested in the RV lifestyle. Before we got into it, As we did our research we struggled to find any “people of color” represented. When we talk to our family and friends about RVing , they thought we were crazy. We often heard “ black people don’t Camp or go RVing”. Once we decided to be part of this lifestyle, and actually went out there and toward parts of the country and we were determined to help. We’ve experienced almost 100 campgrounds from South Florida as far north as Maine and as far west as South Dakota. In all the time, there is only been one campground when we did not feel completely welcome.

We wanted to be an encouragement to all those families of color who are curious about, or interested in RVing. I guess you can say we want to be the resource that we wish we had when we started this journey almost 5 years ago.

Q: What first drew you to traveling and how did you end up driving around the country in a RV?

Most of this credit has to go to my wife Tia. For she has become more concerned and involved in our Boys education. She convinced me that the best thing for our boys was to homeschool them. Once that decision was made, and we learned how many great educational opportunities there was if we could just travel with them, it all came together.
We could teach our boys history and take them to places we studied. Our boys love science and we have been blessed to have taken them to science museums from Miami to Maine! We have taken them to important African American historical sites such as Selma, AL, Montgomery, and the new African American museum in DC.
Add to the fact that my wife isn’t fond of hotels that you never know who was there before you. And with our RV, we take our second home with us. No unpacking and packing. No airports and delays to deal with. Not to mention, having the RV allows us to control the family’s meals much better. We save money and eat healthier every day ay we go.

Q: What are some of the challenges of traveling in a RV both in physical and emotional level?

With a 43ft class A, our travel definitely takes some planning and sacrifices. Being this large we knew that most National and Star parks would be really challenging. But as we researched we realized that there is typically good campgrounds nearby that we could use as a base camp and use our tow vehicle to explore. It works fine for us. Emotionally, it’s sometimes hard to balance our desire to travel and missing family.

Q: What was the most surpassing truth you found out about while driving?

I used to hate driving long distances before we became RVers. Now it’s so peaceful and relaxing. Having a Class A, we have our entire home with us at all times. Hungry? Grab a snack or make something. Tired? Lay down on the couch. Need the restroom? It’s only steps away. And what a view from the huge windshield. Bad distracted drivers? The road is filled with them.

Q: What is the most memorable trip you have had in recent memory?

I just took my boys ages (8,7,5) to view the solar eclipse in the path of totality. We traveled less than 200 miles to Greenville, SC. The boys and I spent a few days hiking some trails and exploring Greenville. My boys have studied the solar system for a few years and we’re so excited.  The 2 1/2 minutes we spent together in totality was beyond amazing. To hear my boys say this was the greatest moment of their lives brought a huge smile on my face. To experience a once-in-a-lifetime moment like this with my young boys was something I’ll never forget. And I hope it’s a moment in their lives they will never forget either.

Q: What advice would you give to someone embarking on their first adventure?

100%. RV travel has changed our lives so much. We have been RVing for 4 1/2 years now and the things we have seen and the places we have visited have been priceless. The family time we have spent together and the memories we have made together are so special. RVing has opened our minds and hearts to all this beautiful country has to offer. We homeschool our kids and they have been blessed to not only study history but visit these historical sites. And as African Americans, we have taken our children to visit places that were pivotal in our struggles for civil rights. We are also blessed with kids who love Science and they have visited science museums from South Florida to Maine! We even took a “Boys only” trip to the path of totality to view the Solar Eclipse!

Q: Closing Thoughts … How do you think photography and traveling have changed your view of the world?

For me, as a former professional football player who deals with the injuries daily, my viewpoint has been dramatically changed. I’ve seen myself and former team deal with the physical toll on our bodies left from years of playing football. But the biggest thing that scares me, is the mental toll. CTE is a big issue plaguing many former professional athletes. For me, I’ve made a decision that if CTE is in fact in my future then I’m going to experience all I can, and enjoy all I can with my family now. I can’t control that, but I can’t control what we do and how we do it now. RVing has dramatically changed my life for the better. Seeing places like Mount Rushmore, taking my kids to walk across the bridge at Selma, seeing the beauty of Acadia National Park, all those things and so much more have been life-changing for me. RVing has given me a new found love for travel.
 
Big thanks to you for having me on here! Hope I could inspire someone to go on their own little adventures with great memories.

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