Adventures Beyond the Coop

Adventures Beyond the Coop, hosted by Chloe Barlow, features former and current Gamecocks who've done something a little wild. If you like going on adventures, getting outside, or just want to hear a good story, you're in luck! This is the podcast where we know that sometimes, you have to get lost to find yourself.

Adventures Beyond the Coop is hosted and edited by Chloe Barlow and produced by Connor Bird.

Music: "Bad Nostalgia" by Anthem of Rain, used under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License.

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Episode 8: Medical Mission Trips Abroad & Finding Humanity

Zach Travis graduated from USC in 2020, started his own company called Travis Medical Group, and currently works as a traveling organ preservationist. His goal is to become a surgeon, and he’s already on his way. In college, Zach was a capstone scholar and traveled with the program to Nicaragua on a medical mission trip. That first trip to help abroad sparked something in him, and he hasn’t looked back since. He found a few mentors in college, and he’s since started working on building a medical clinic in Guatemala. Zach talks about what he’s learned about culture in his travels abroad, how humans are a lot more alike than we think (and no, I’m not just talking about our anatomy), and how he still gets imposter syndrome from time to time. At the end of the day, he reminds listeners that what’s most important in life is the ability to connect with one another, show compassion, and listen.

Episode 7: Tackling the 7 Summits & Taking your Professors Out to Lunch

Though he’s retired now, Dr. Patrick Hickey worked with the University of South Carolina for 15 years. He served as the principal of the Capstone Scholars program, where he developed the “personal challenge” program to encourage students to get out of their comfort zones and expand their minds. He’s also recognized as a Distinguished Clinical Professor Emeritus for his work within the nursing school. Outside of the classroom, Dr. Hickey is a world traveler, having been to 88 countries and all seven continents. Along the way, he became the first nurse to ever climb the 7 Summits, the seven highest mountains in the world, on his first attempt each time. Yes, this includes Mt. Everest.

Want to hear more? Check out Dr. Hickey’s book - 7 Summits: A Nurse’s Quest to Conquer Mountaineering and Life.

Episode 6: Sailing Through Regattas & Senior Year

Jack Drury happened upon the Gamecock Sailing Club through a chance encounter at a football game, but it has since developed into a lifelong passion. Listen to Jack talk about how he learned the rope of sailing, his time in the club, where he served as social chair (who would have thought the sailing club had a social chair?), his races around the country, and how he plans to continue “until I die”.

Episode 5: Campus Work, Seasonal Jobs and Finding Your Path

Ben Kelley worked for the university’s Outdoor Recreation department, in the gear shop, and on the rock wall. We get to hear about all the unique things the university does to lower the barrier to entry for outdoor sports, like renting equipment out for cheap and leading students on adventure trips, and we even get to hear a little bit behind the scenes about how new routes are dreamed up and set on the wall at Strom. Beyond his time at Carolina, Ben also spent a summer in Missouri operating zip lines and teaching people how to water ski, and on the other end of the spectrum, he spent a winter working at a ski lodge in Vermont.

Episode 4: Renewable Energy & Rekjavik, Iceland

Cary Cocoran is currently getting her master’s degree in renewable energy with a focus on energy economics, policy, and sustainability from the University of Iceland. We talk about renewable energy, her world travels, her art, and how to gain the necessary skills to travel the world and chase your dreams, especially as a young woman.

Episode 3: Building the Continental Divide Trail & Fighting Wildfires

In this episode, Troy Brudzinski talks about the less-than-traditional path he took after college. He started school as a mechanical engineering major, and now two years post-grad he’s based in Alamosa, Colorado as a Wildland Firefighter. He works from season to season, and he’ll be the first to tell you he’s not sure where he's headed next. He’s lived out of his car in the desert heat, he’s lived in a hammock with nothing but a tarp to cover him during monsoon season, and now he lives on a nature preserve in the San Luis Valley. Troy talks about the months of backbreaking manual labor he endured to build sections of the Continental Divide Trail, and how those moments of pure, unfiltered outdoor bliss made it all worth it... Listen in if you, too, feel called to live life a little “off the beaten path”.

Episode 2: Conservation, Cultivation & Creation

Louis Rubino is a senior at USC doing big things in the Columbia community and beyond. At school, he’s started “community gardens” to help provide fresh produce for the underprivileged population. Outside of it, he owns and operates an over 100-acre nature preserve in the Pisgah National Forest as part communal organic farm, part music festival venue, part Airbnb, and part recording studio. Oh, and he’s also a musician. Listen in to hear his journey, and where he finds the intersection between his passion for art, farming, and saving the planet.

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Episode 1: (Mini) Van Life & Touching Rocks

James Fulton currently travels across the country in his minivan and spends his days' rock climbing. Listen in to hear him talk about his outdoor awakening at USC, the behind-the-scenes of living in a van, and rock climbing 101.