- Will McCarty
With hundreds of thousands of miles traveled, dozens of countries toured via interstates, planes, vans and buses; from dining with royalty in the South of France in castles to living on the road with hobos and vagabonds, Rev. Peyton has seen and done a lot. As an internationally revered recording artist and performer — and a proud Hoosier — we asked Rev. Peyton to lend his unique perspective and wildlife experiences to our readers.
Got a question about music, traveling, love, food, religion, politics, family, friends or enemies? Send it in to firstname.lastname@example.org or submit anonymously to bigdamnadvice.tumblr.com, and Rev. Peyton will answer back in a regular column. Anonymity is assured.
Recommended listening for The Rev's first column: "We Live Dangerous" from So Delicious, released by the Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band in January on Yazoo Records.
Dear Rev: What are four ways to be more adventurous in everyday life?
REVEREND PEYTON: This is my favorite question that we have received so far, and that is why I am choosing this question as the first one I will tackle in this Big Damn Advice column. It is a question that is near and dear to my heart, because I seek adventure every day of my life. I crave it. Obsession might be a strong word, but maybe it's not too strong.
Once you've had a taste of real adventure you will thirst for it forever after. My career has taken me to 48 states and 35 different countries, and I look for adventure everywhere I go. Sometimes I find it on a faraway mountain. Sometimes I find it in my back yard in Brown County. Open your eyes to the world, friends and try on these four tips...
GET RID OF CABLE TV
Getting rid of your cable or satellite is the single best thing you can do for your life.
Mostly it's just a timesuck. You sit down and before you know it, literally hours have passed by. What do you have to show for it? Even if you were entertained, 30 percent of the time you spent was just commercials. Yes, even after paying that cable TV bill, they still only give you 70 percent programming. In my opinion they just stole 30 percent of your time from you. What could you do with that time? Adventure, hopefully, but the answer is literally anything else.
I'm sure there are some folks out there reading this and saying, "But what about my favorite TV show? I would miss it so much." If there is a television show out there that you truly cannot live without, then buy it on DVD and watch it that way. DVDs have zero commercials, and now you control the time you watch. Save it for a rainy day. You should also remember, no one ever sat down on their grandad's lap and said, "Granddad, tell us the story about that TV show you watched again."
BECOME A PATRON OF THE ARTS
"The Arts" doesn't have to mean haute or stuffy. When I say "The Arts" I mean everything from local punk shows to live theater. Maybe you are into poetry, maybe you are into mimes. It doesn't matter to me, but you need to get out and support it. If you are an artist yourself, then you really need to get out and support others in your scene, and you should be out there supporting other artists across different media. Taking in art of any kind makes you a better person. It can open your eyes to new ways of thinking, and it should also be challenging you. There is adventure at these events. It isn't as obvious as climbing a mountain, but it is no less enriching to your soul. I don't know if there is a greater adventure than meeting new people that makes us want to be better. What a way to provoke ourselves to take that first step toward a new adventure. You don't have to be an artist or an expert either. All you need to enjoy art is humanity, curiosity and an open mind.
You have to get outside, people. There is no other way. The amount of adventure in the outdoors within a one-day trip of where you live is hard to believe. I have fished some beautiful streams and rivers running straight through major cities. There is so much beauty so close, and even in vastly populated areas, it is mostly unused or under-enjoyed by the local people. I bet there is a hiking trail closer than you think. I know there is a state or national park within a one-day driving trip. Getting an outdoor hobby can actually be cheap, too. How much does hiking really cost? A good pair of shoes, and a water bottle can get you started down a simple trail. You don't need to climb up a mountain or hunt a bear in Alaska to find adventure outside.
However, If you are looking for more adventure and a big adrenaline rush, then you are going to need some gear. Luckily you can put the money you saved on canceling your cable bill toward outfitting your big bucket list adventure trip.
If you are reading this and saying to yourself that the outdoors isn't for you, then maybe you have never actually experienced it. Ask someone to take you fishing, or ask someone to take you camping. The closest I have ever felt to God was staring the Grand Canyon in the face. I am never more at peace than when I am chasing fish on a body of water I have all to myself.
DO SOMETHING, ANYTHING!
I know it is a cliché, but every journey does start with one step. No one is coming to take you on your next adventure. If you want a great story to tell, then you have to take a step toward something, anything. Failure isn't really possible, because adventure only happens when everything goes wrong. The only people that truly fail are those that don't ever really live. So quit filling your Instagram with photos of selfies and plates of food, and get out there and take a picture of something legendary. Go somewhere legendary. Meet legendary people. Live legendary. When that grandchild or great niece or nephew is sitting on your lap years from now ... please have a better story to tell than what was on cable TV.