Hiking… an opportunity for freedom and introspection

Thirty MiM Year 2 students took part in an unusual hike.

A hike to reconnect

“Walking has a certain something that energizes and stimulates my ideas”, said the French Philosopher Rousseau in his autobiographical book Confessions.

Decidedly effective, despite its apparent simplicity, the project led by Guillaume de Saint Louvent and open to MiM Year 2 students was designed as a learning experience: a 53-km hike, from Excelia’s campus in La Rochelle to the Phare des Baleines lighthouse on the Île de Ré. A challenge designed to help students explore their own emotions and understand those of others.

Thirty students took part in this unusual hike from the 22nd -24th March.

Negative PCR tests, packed lunches, accommodation, beautiful scenery…the perfect combination to ensure everyone fully benefitted from this experience that was both human and PHYSICAL!




A time for introspection and freeing your mind 

Before departing, the students had to identify a personal issue to ‘solve’ during the hike. 53 kilometres to explore the meanderings of the mind, to listen to others, and to step outside your comfort zone… one thing is certain, our students won’t forget this adventure!

As the hike progressed, issues evolved, questioning became self-evident, leading to answers, solutions, and even a feeling of liberation!

Lloyd: Well, my personal issue resolved itself through conversations with the other students, with Guillaume de Saint Louvent, Yann Picard and Frédéric Dufau-Joël, the accompanying teachers, and through personal reflection. I went from “I am too negative” to “I am too pessimistic” to “I think too much” but I came back feeling serene and full of positive energy!
Lloyd Bagoe, MiM Year 2
Marie: On Day 1, I began by asking myself why I took so long to make decisions. On Day 2, it evolved into why I spend too much time thinking about the consequences of my decisions. And on Day 3, I realised that I didn’t actually have any issues, that there was nothing holding me back after all!
Marie Feray, MiM Year 2


Strength through unity 

The hike was interspersed with confidence-building exercises and moments for connection with nature and others. Solidarity and unity were created among the group, strengthening and creating bonds of friendship.

Lloyd: I never thought I would say this, but it was the best experience of my life. We switched off from our daily lives but were completely in touch with nature and with each other. It was wonderful to meet new people, to be listened to and to listen to others. I discovered new energy and made lasting friendships.
Lloyd Bagoe, MiM Year 2
Marie: It was so, so, so good! We felt safe and comfortable in this intimate bubble… observing ourselves and others, developing a better understanding of one another, all of which undoubtedly helped forge strong ties.
Marie Feray, MiM Year 2

Even the moments of fatigue and soreness did not dampen the good mood and motivation of the group!

Marie: Thankfully, Guillaume de Saint Louvent had brought some quality plasters for the many blisters we had! He explained the effects of fatigue as well as how the effects of the endorphins released at the end of the day gave us a feeling of euphoria.
Marie Feray, MiM Year 2


In short, you don’t have to be an accomplished sportsperson to surpass your limits, opening up to others and yourself, you just have to believe that you can do it!