On the week-end from the 22nd to the 24th of march, the BDE from Polytech Nantes organized the 7th edition of the Defi-Stop in which I had the opportunity to participate. This is an event in which all the Polytech students from the 13 schools in France are invited to participate.
It is a hitchhiking contest that takes place every year, and the rules are very simple. The participants must form a team of 2 people and all leave from their respective schools on the 22nd at 18h, they then have 48 hours to go as far as they can and come back using only their thumb and the public transports inside the cities. If a teams comes back late, they will have a penalty and will have points deducted from their total kilometers.
Student can also earn point by completing different challenges from a list, those include meeting another team, taking a picture on a border, getting picked up by a tractor and many more.
This year over 100 team from all the Polytech schools participated in the Défi Stop to try and beat last years record of 1131km or just to travel around France and the neighbouring countries.
Throughout all the adventure the students can enter their location and post photos on the website so that anyone can follow their progression. It also allows us to meet up with other students once we arrive in a big city since many people have common destinations.
You can also count on the Polytech network by contacting the student from other schools who will be happy to let you sleep on their couch if you get stuck in their town overnight.
Overall this was a great experience and I plan on participating again next year.