About Me

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.


23 comments on “About Me

  1. Carmen says:

    i am crying already! But i will anxiously, excitedly and proudly await each blog to read how you are changing the world……..one girl at a time!!!!!

  2. Pat Scofield says:

    You Go Girl. Will be reading and watching as your adventure unfolds. Our prayers will be with you. God Bless.

  3. Ana Aborlleile says:

    I am so excited for you. It definitely is an adventure of a lifetime….
    God Bless and I can’t wait to hear all about it!!

  4. karin says:

    I haven’t even met you, but just from what i’ve seen so far, i am far and beyond impressed and encouraged to do what I want to do, too. 🙂 thank you!.

    • batesla says:

      Hi Karin! It’s nice to meet you! I am so excited that you feel like you can go out and do what you want! and if this blog had anything to do with that, then it’s already accomplished what I wanted. Being a girl should NEVER limit you, all you have to do is give yourself permission to go – or in my case, buy the plane ticket and not look back! Thanks for reading! Lauren

  5. Debra says:

    Hi Lauren,
    Your mom passed on your site and I just had to tell you how I admire your difficult mission to make a change in the world. I admit, I could not watch the videos due to the disturbing nature of the subject matter. I respect and deeply appreicate your passion and ability to devote yourself to this cause. It takes a very special person to make sacrifices that you undoubtedly are making in order to fulfill such a worthy goal.
    Good luck and God bless you on your journey!

    • batesla says:

      Debra, Thank you for the support! Even I have a hard time watching the videos. It’s even harder seeing the little girls on the street here and knowing this is something they battle on a daily basis. But also I don’t view it as a sacrifice at all! If anything this is the most valuable experience I’ve had in my life and I’m growing everyday. I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to be where I am. But the support I receive from people like you are really what make me feel so happy to be where I am, so thank you again and please keep reading!

  6. Ralph Starling says:

    Hi Lauren! What a great adventure! Way to go! I am a minister in Richmond, Va and have been working with refugees from Nepal for the last couple of years. What a delightful group of people! You are getting the best education ever! Blessings and Courage to you!
    Ralph Starling
    blog: ralphstarling.wordpress.com

  7. liz says:

    you are doing a beautifully courageous thing. thank you for inspiring all of us by sharing your journey. i hope you come alive in a way that changes your life forever….and therefore changes the world. xo

    • batesla says:

      Liz, what a beautiful thing to say :). I can’t thank you enough. This journey has changed my entire outlook on life (for the better). Thanks for following! xo, Lauren

  8. I am a solo female cycling around the world. I just love what you are doing…I sure do wish there was a stronger way to say you go girl!

  9. armando says:

    Go Lauren Croft!,,you make everything so easy!!

  10. Dear Lauren,

    I’m an established Canadian writer who is doing research on sex trafficking in Asia (I’ve lived a few years in Thailand, though am back in Canada now)–that’s how I came across this blog, actually. My last book is called Burmese Lessons, and is precisely that, in the broadest sense of the word. I am deeply moved by your writing here and the work you are doing, the education you are making for yourself. So good to read this from a young American!! I’ll pass on the blog details to other young people I know who are searching for more education ‘in the world’ and a chance to contribute . . .
    I’m glad that you decided not to go to Rwanda if it didn’t feel right. That’s a wise decision and kind of you to share it with your readers.

    Travel well,

    • batesla says:

      Karen, thank you so much! I would love to speak with you further. Ive toyed with the idea of pursuing writing as a career and any advice you could share would be extremely helpful. I’m in need of a new read as well, so I’m definitely going to look your book up on Amazon! xx, Lauren

  11. Cindy says:

    I am captivated by your blog! Thank you for providing us with information about women’s issues all over the globe! My new favorite read!
    God bless!

  12. Did you ever get to Rwanda? I helped design the wastewater treatment system at the Girls School at Gashora. I’d like to know your experince there, and any photos.



  13. sijan shrestha says:

    hey where r u these days???? wat r u doing lauren? looking forward for your mail.

  14. Sam says:


    I am working with the editor of Travel Savvy Digital Media, which is a digital property that provides useful travel information about places to go, see and stay in a particular destination–all in list format. Here’s a look at my past project about Dominican Republic:http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/495/apple_dr1/#/1/OnePage

    Featured information is from locals–in this way, we are able to share tidbits and insights about a place and weed out the typical ‘tourist traps’ everyone seems to end up in. I’m currently working on a spotlight issue about Lombok. One of our contributors has mentioned the Sembalun Village and I am hoping to get high resolution images of this village to include with the story.

    The magazine is sent to 200K + subscribers as well as used for social media marketing by the client. The photos will be credited appropriately in the manner that you wish. Please get back to me as soon as you can, I am on a deadline!

    Thank you!

  15. Angie says:

    You are amazing!!!! I always said God has a plan for each and everyone of us. God bless HE will keep you safe in every step of the way…love you!

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