Who’s Laughing Now?
Who would have ever guessed that a starting NFL PLayer would also be a full-time RVer? Well, it turns out that Bradley Bozeman, a starting offensive guard for the Baltimore Ravens, and his wife Nikki live in an RV full time. When we discovered this we were amazed!
Susan and I thought it would be awesome to meet Brad and Nikki and interview them about living in an RV full time. We knew our chances would be slim. So we started reading about them and trying to learn about their RV lifestyle to see if we could make a connection. And what we discovered was so much more than a pro football player and his wife living in an RV.
Who Are Bradly and Nikki Bozeman?
Brad is the starting left guard for the Baltimore Ravens and he paves the way for the league’s record-setting rushing attack with Lamar Jackson, Mark Ingram, and Gus Edwards. He played college football for the University of Alabama and he’s the guy who proposed to his girlfriend Nikki Hegstetter right on the football field after winning the College Football National Championship two years ago! Who doesn’t remember that!
It turns out that Nikki is quite an athlete too! She was a team captain three years in a row for the University of Alabama’s Women’s Basketball Team! Nikki completed her bachelor’s degree in only three years and then earned her Master’s Degree in Marketing from Alabama with a specialization in digital and social media.
Nikki was working as a Digital Marketing Specialist and Brad was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the 6th round of the 2018 NFL Draft. After that, of course, they moved to Baltimore. Brad and Nikki then married in March of 2019.
Why Would a Pro Football Player and His Wife Live in an RV Full Time?
Brad and Nikki found a place to rent in North Baltimore but they were considering buying an RV to see the country in the offseason. Since they knew they were going to buy an RV Brad thought maybe it would be fun to live in the RV full time. But, Nikki wasn’t so sure.
However, once they started looking at RVs they soon discovered that RVs are really nice inside – especially 5th Wheels. They found a fifth wheel with high ceilings, granite countertops, and a king-sized bed, which is a must for Nikki at 6’1″ tall and Brad at 6’5″.
So they decided, with practically no prior RV experience, to give it a go! And the moved into their 5th wheel in a campground in Carroll County Maryland.
Brad said his teammates teased him and thought he was like Cousin Eddie who lived in an RV in the Christmas Vacation Movie. But after seeing how nice the RV was they eased up a bit.
When I mentioned to one of my daughters that Brad and Nikki live in an RV full time her immediate reaction was “How do they fit in there?” How can they take a shower?” And then she sent me the picture on the left of Buddy the Elf in an undersized shower! Brad cracked up when he saw the picture and so we got a picture of him in his 5th wheel shower. As you can see, he fits!
Brad and Nikki enjoy living in their RV full time for a couple of reasons. Nikki says she enjoys how close she and Brad have become living in their RV. “There is no place to hide in here,” she said. “No matter how you feel you have to deal with it.” And the result is knowing each other better and growing even closer.
Brad enjoys being closer to nature and being around fellow RVers. He enjoys the camping experience and Nikki does too. In fact, Nikki has enjoyed camping since she was a kid and so has Brad. But neither of them really spent much time in an RV.
The Bradley and Nikki Bozeman Foundation Cross Country Tour!
As we learned more about Brad and Nikki we discovered that they created The Bradley and Nikki Boseman Foundation to prevent bullying and make a difference in the lives of at-risk children and families by speaking directly to elementary school kids, teachers, parents, and staff.
Nikki and Brad feel that their own personal experiences with being bullied give them the perspective needed to ‘help adults and children learn how to recognize bullying, respond quickly and consistently to bullying behavior, and send a strong message that this type of behavior is simply not acceptable.’
The foundation started with a Facebook page and some speaking engagements at elementary schools in the Baltimore area. Then as more school administrators learned about the program Nikki and Brad were invited to speak at more and more schools all across the country.
So they decided to go on a cross country tour after the 2019 football season and speak at 15 schools in 15 states from Maryland to California and back! Nikki tells us that the number of schools may increase a bit as word spreads about the tour. But they only have 6 weeks planned for the tour before they return so Brad can prepare to attend the Raven’s offseason workouts which begin in late March.
The tour is set to begin on February 10th and Brad and Nikki will return home to Baltimore on March 23rd.
You can follow Brad and Nikki on their cross country tour on their Facebook page and their website. They will be posting as Nikki puts it, “the good, the bad and the ugly” of the tour, campgrounds, and everything they go through on their 6-week journey.
Brad and Nikki’s Experiences with Being Bullied
Brad and Nikki were both bullied as children and they have taken those terrible experiences and turned them into fuel for combating bullying today.
Brad was bullied as a kid for being big and fat. He said he was like Augustus Gloop, the fat boy in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory when he was a kid. He was teased and bullied and at the time didn’t have a mean bone in his body.
But Brad says he is one of the lucky kids with great parents who helped him to deal with the bullying. And then he discovered football, which was a great outlet for him. He says he was very fortunate to have the resources he needed to become comfortable with who he is in spite of all the teasing and bullying.
Nikki was also bullied as a kid. She told us that by the time she was in 5th grade she was 5’10” tall! She was taller than all of her classmates and even taller than her teacher. And the other kids made fun of her for being so tall, having big feet and hands and tearing her down any way they could. Nikki also confided in her mom and her sister and then she found her outlet but for her it was basketball.
The message that Brad and Nikki are teaching kids today is that they should find a way to be comfortable with who they are, talk about bullying with a trusted adult and to find healthy and productive outlets to be yourself.
Brad and Nikki are very well known in the Maryland area and they have the support of many sports enthusiasts but we figured – hey since they are RVers let’s get the RV community involved too!
How Can You Help?
You can help in several ways.
- You can spread the message! You can share this blog post and or the YouTube Video below on your Facebook page.
- You can follow Brad and Nikki on their journey and offer support, advice, and inspiration!
- You can even donate if you feel moved to do so.
The thing that impressed us most about Brad and Nikki is that they are genuine people who really do care. Many athletes make donations or show up for the obligatory pre-planned community outreach required by each NFL team.
But Brad and Nikki are going way above and beyond because they are investing so much personal time and effort into making a difference by reaching as many kids as possible to combat bullying. And they are truly making a difference in the lives of so many kids.