My Travels


 My travels have brought me all over the world. I’ve lived and studied in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Lima, Peru. I’ve traveled throughout those countries and ventured to Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, and Colombia as well. Vacations have taken me to Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico, Spain, France, Italy, Greece, and the UK.

Skirting the Limits was sparked by a 6 month trip through Southeast Asia. My stories and experience are documented on this blog, and my itinerary included:


This was my first stop – I spent a week traveling through Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, and Halong Bay to learn about Vietnamese culture and history. 


A week of Laotian leisure, chillin’ with monks, and learning about Buddhism. I also met with local nonprofit organizations to learn about how they run and what struggles they face.


I lived and worked in Phnom Penh for a month with a prominent international NGO. I worked on a project that educates Cambodian university students about gender violence and HIV/AIDS. My first stop was the famous Angkor Wat temples!


I stopped here only for a few days, but had enough time to take in one of the most insane SE Asian cities. I’m was able to visit some of the anti-sex trafficking organizations here, and some of the children’s education groups.


I was here for a month. First, I spent a week in Ubud, Bali to celebrate by 22nd birthday! Then, I headed to a small island called Sembalun, where I lived with a village and volunteered for 2 weeks. No electricity, no phone, no internet – just me, the villagers, and the Rinjani volcano.


I was here for almost 2 months! I spent some time in Kathmandu and then headed to Pokhara. I lived with locals and worked with a yoga school that helps educate Nepalese women.


7 comments on “My Travels

  1. Pat Scofield says:

    Hi Lauren, I look forward to reading your posts. We admire you so much for your interest in helping women around the world. I have been researching different non=profits in Rwanda and trying to figure out which one to donate to that will directly help women and children trying to make a living and feed their families. I really would like to have the name and pics of one family that I might actually see how they are doing throughout the year. Maybe we can find out from you as you travel.
    Keep safe and God bless you.
    Pat and Spike

    • batesla says:

      Hi Pat and Spike! I hope you are doing well and enjoying the last bit of summer in the States 🙂
      I am so excited that you want to support the cause! As of now I do not know any organizations that actually allow you to select a family and view their progress, but I will do some research. Usually organizations don’t do this for donors because it requires so much time and money to update each individuals information every month and contact the specific donor. However, most organizations do send out newsletters and client stories/updates every quarter. You also may be able to speak with the donor relations coordinator at a specific organization and see if they would be willing to allow you to support a specific woman.
      I understand the need to see your specific impact when donating to a cause, so I will suggest a few organizations for you to look at that are my favorite.

      1. Pro Mujer – – I interned with this organization. They provide micro-enterprise and healthcare services to poor women in Latin America. And I know for a fact that they send out stories and updates about the women they support because I helped translate them from Spanish to English while I worked there. PM is an incredible organization!!

      2. Rwanda Girls Initiative – – This is the all-girls vocational school I am planning to work at in the spring. Their premise is girls’ education, which I believe is the most important goal when trying to create social change in a culture. The girls board on a sustainable campus in rural Rwanda.

      3. The Akilah Institute for Women – – This organization is similar to Rwanda Girls Initiative. They are actually asking for people to host 2 of their students from Rwanda who are traveling in the US, so maybe you would be interested in that, here is the link

      You can also go the Half the Sky site here and find a list of women’s organizations around the world.

      If you would like anymore information, just let me know! I can put you in contact with the CEOs of the organizations above or their donor relations officers.

      All my best!

  2. Kat Cole says:

    I love what you are doing! A friend of a friend ReTweeted a link to your blog. I have made elevating and educating women all over the developed and developing world part of my life’s work, and you are right to highlight the positive impact made from education and empowerment of women, especially in developing nations. I have recent experience and such a strong love for Rwanda, so if I can help you in any way, please let me know. If you go back to my December 2009 posts at, you’ll see details. I grew up traveling the world for work and eventually for humanitarian causes, so if there is anything I can do to support or help you on your journey – please don’t hesitate to reach out. That may seem odd from a total stranger, but as I’m sure you’ve learned in your travels, there are some people you encounter with a common cause, love and spirit who are eager to help others who are doing good in the world – I am certainly one of those. Best of luck, keep sharing smiles, strength, education and love with the world.

  3. Suzanne says:


    Just discovered your blog from Nicholas Kristoff’s recent ‘tweet’. Congrats on your wonderful journey. Was recently in Rwanda and wish you a wonderful stay. If you are interested in some local contacts do let me know.

    Enjoy the holidays with your family and safe travels!

  4. Jefferey says:

    Good post! We will be linking to this great content on our website.

    Keep up the good writing.

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