The Girl Effect: It’s really that simple.


Hellooo readers! Welcome to Skirting the Limits, a blog designed especially for you to share my travel experience. I’m about to start a yearlong solo journey through Asia, Indonesia and Africa. The goal: to fuel my wanderlusting ways and learn firsthand about international women’s issues.

I’m traveling to Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, Nepal, and Rwanda. My focus on female empowerment will vary by location. I’ll mentor at girls’ schools, educate males about gender violence, live with village women, work at a yoga institute, visit shelters and interview anti-sex trafficking organizations. My posts will revolve around women’s issues but also travel and cultural experiences.

All posts will appear on this front page. On the right side you see Follow My Travels! and beneath it an empty box. Type your email address here and click Submit. I’ll post a new article every 1-2 weeks and it will be emailed directly to you. You WILL NOT receive spam, I promise. Please sign up, I’m going to need a lot of support on this journey.

At the bottom of this post is a comment box. This will be under every new article. Anyone can leave comments and I encourage your thoughts and opinions.

At the top of the page there are links titled About Me, My Itinerary, Photos, Inspiration, and Thank Yous. These will give you a little more information about my plans.

When I told family and friends about my trip it surprised me that most people’s reaction was WHY? Why do you want to do this? Why do you want to help women? Why do you have to go to these countries? Why are you going alone? Why aren’t your parents stopping you?

For me the why is hard to explain, and Because I want to doesn’t seem to suffice. The best answer I’ve found is my heart is completely invested in this.

If I help one girl feel better about herself or learn something new I will consider my effort a success. The ability to pull one girl out of poverty, educate her, and help her see herself as an equal gives me a smile, butterflies and chills. The inspirational video below explains the importance of female empowerment. Please watch and enjoy reading my blog :)!


8 comments on “The Girl Effect: It’s really that simple.

  1. Greg de Lorenzo says:

    I already have great admiration for you, Lauren, and now you take off on a journey most of us dream of doing! Enjoy it all, you know I’ll be reading.
    Wishing you All the BEST,

  2. Amanda says:

    Laur, you’re so cute!! I’m so happy that you’re doing this and I’m excited to follow along 🙂 Although I still wish I could go with you!! xo

  3. Julian Cabrera says:

    If reading this is the only way I can help you, then the least I will do is be your biggest fan. Good luck on all of your endeavors.


    Julian L. Cabrera

  4. Vickie Bates Penrose says:

    Hey Girl! I am so proud of you for doing this! You are SO like Aunt Lucy – So independent!! I will be praying for you every step of the way. Please keep us updated so I can pray specifically. Right now, I will just pray for travel safety, health, and that you are able to make a difference every where you go!!! I will also be praying for your Dad!!:) I know he’s gonna need it! Love you!!

    • batesla says:

      Vickie, I try to be like her everyday! and I miss her so much. In a way, I feel like she’s always watching me when I travel because we lost her while I was traveling through Panama with my best friend. Thank you for the support! Love you all!

  5. Liz Woodhatch says:

    Hi Lauren!
    I’ve been thinking about you every minute since you left our House!
    I watched The Girl Effect Video and was Inspired by the Words which flashed before my eyes……those words are very Powerful…..those words touched YOU and empowered YOU to MOVE thousands of Miles so that YOU can make a difference! I know you will.
    Stay Safe and Healthy with Love Liz John Ryan & Alli.

    • batesla says:

      Thanks Aunt Liz, Uncle John, Ryan, Alli!! It was so great seeing you all, and it means so much to me that you support what I’m doing and want to be involved. My next post will be from Vietnam! XOXO, Lauren

  6. Nancy Murphy says:

    Hi Lauren
    I am a very old friend of your Aunt Liz. We grew up together and she had has been sharing your story with us. After reading your blog and your very inspiring video, I am overwhelmed with emotion. I would love to hear about all the great things you will hopefully accomplish on this magnificent trip of yours. Just making the trip should be saying a lot to all the girls you will help. Good luck and be safe. We’ll all be here to support you.

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