NY State Licensed Hiking/Camping Guide
Wilderness First Responder
Water Safety Instructor (WSI)
Manon grew up in France and has always been passionate about communication and humanitarian causes. She received Public Relations and Humanitarian Project Management degrees then worked as a Public Relations executive for large nonprofits in Paris. She loved her job and gave it all her time and energy. Without realizing it, she forgot to take care of herself.
She didn’t have time to cook (or thought she didn’t have time) so she was eating take away for dinner and at restaurants for business lunches. She didn’t exercise at all.
Her body started to send signals: tense shoulders and back, bloated and painful stomach every morning, difficulty sleeping well and was feeling tired just walking around the block. She gained 60 pounds in a year. She was self-conscious, and progressively lost confidence and inner strength. She had lost all her energy and had trouble feeling happiness and excitement.
At some pivotal moment she decided that she couldn’t continue on this path and decided to take an adventure in India and Nepal to go back to herself. She left Paris for eight months of solo travel and backpacking. There she hiked the legendary Annapurna Base Camp trail in the Himalayas. With no hiking experience and totally out of shape, ten days of intense physical exertion at a 15,000 foot elevation in winter conditions was an experience that changed her life forever.
In the mountains, she discovered untapped physical and mental potential and came back home with renewed self-confidence and a plan to offer the same possibilities to other people.
She met her American husband in Nepal and together they moved to NYC where she got her New York State hiking and camping guide license.
In 2016 Manon founded Escape, an outdoors adventures company dedicated to women’s bodies and minds. Today it is a successful business; trips sell out in hours and every adventure she leads is empowering for her clients.
She is also a certified Life and Wellness coach and a Nutrition coach who knows that our fulfilment comes from the well-being of our bodies AND minds. She became a certified Neuro Linguistic Master Practitioner to help her clients develop a warrior mindset: free of judgemental voices and limiting beliefs.
She also founded the Warrior Program, a coaching and fitness program that transforms leaders’ lives and bodies through physical challenges and breakthrough adventures.
Today Manon is an accomplished coach, hiking guide and a successful entrepreneur. Her trek in the Annapurnas changed her life and she now changes the lives of many new warriors.
Lia is a board-certified, licensed Art Therapist in New York City. She received her Masters in Art Therapy at the School of Visual Arts and her Bachelors in Arts at the esteemed all-women's Scripps College in Southern California. She has worked with children, teens, and adults in a variety of settings to improve mental and emotional health through artistic expression. Prior to art therapy, Lia worked in the marketing/design industry and on a number of art exhibitions, one of which was the site-specific HomeBase Project series founded by visionary artist and curator Anat Litwin. She lives just over the Lincoln Tunnel with her food-and-wine loving husband, two daughters, and two rescue cats.
She was proudly named after Amelia Earhart and gives thanks daily to the many strong women who helped guide and shape her throughout her life.
Hikes and gear testers
The Escape team goes into the woods all year-round, where we test new trails many times before offering them to our clients. If you book the overnight Escape you can choose the “all gear included option” at checkout and we will provide all the hiking and camping gear you need. Our team of testers makes sure that every item is practical, wilderness-proof, safe and comfortable for women’s bodies.
Lindsay is a writer and editor in Brooklyn. Normally you can find her reading (indoors!), and she has been hiking just a few times before, but she has always loved nature.
About her hike and gear-tester experience: “My Escape with Manon was exactly what I needed. I learned so much on our journey away from the city and into the woods: how to slow down, how to press on, how to be a more confident hiker and camper. Plus we had so, so much fun. Just two days really shifted something in my soul. Manon is such a positive, nurturing, and incredibly knowledgeable force of nature.”
Raphaëlle is a French woman, mother of 3 boys, newly installed in Brooklyn. She didn’t have any hiking experience even though she is married to a longtime trail fan and has always wanted to spend more time in the nature.
About her hike and gear-tester experience: “What a lovely weekend to escape the city (the intense noise, unpleasant odors, fast pace, children...) and find myself in the middle of nature. The experience was amazing with Manon. Not only do you disconnect from your urban life but you also have the opportunity to learn about nature, discover beautiful landscapes—including the best parts of the famous Appalachian Trail—to exercise, to talk, laugh, spend time with other women, and have a great evening around the fire. I was anxious about my first night in the tent in the forest but Manon is such an expert that it was a great experience too! Thank you Manon for sharing your passion with such enthusiasm!!”