Skirting the Limits began in 2010 when I graduated from college and bought a plane ticket to Southeast Asia. After 16 consecutive years of classrooms, textbooks, and general boredom I decided to deviate from the norm and set off to travel, learn, and experience the world on my own.
It may sound like I took a leisurely vacation, but my journey was not void of structure nor purpose. During college I became extremely passionate about the situation of women around the globe. I mentored 3rd grade girls for 3 years in Nashville, studied in South America for 5 months, and interned with Pro Mujer, a microfinance organization headquartered in New York – all of which heightened my interest in the issues women face in the developing world.
My travels took me to Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, and Nepal. I volunteered, visited the sites of NGOs and nonprofits, interacted with women on the streets and in the markets, and experienced the way they live in developing nations. This journey allowed me to step out of my comfort zone, learn something valuable, and give back to the world that’s been so kind to me for the last 24 years.
As an American female whose parents taught her to be independent and strong-willed, it was hard to imagine a society that bans girls from attending school, much less one that subjects women to severe violence, danger of sex-trafficking, and high rates of maternal mortality. Sadly this is a daily reality for women all over the world. Females comprise half of the world’s population, and if their voices and rights continue to be marginalized it will be impossible for developing nations to improve social conditions. I avidly believe investment in females is both socially and economically profitable.
Skirting the Limits documents my journey and shares the hilarious, sad, and inspiring moments I encountered along the way. It continues to function as a resource for female travelers and an information hub for human rights issues and organizations.