How to Travel Broke

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My name is Lauren, a 27-year-old Nurse Practitioner obtaining a PhD with a concentration in psychoneuroimmunology at the University of South Florida.

For the past 3 years, my fixed income has been $1,200 a month as a Graduate Research Assistant. In this same period of time, I have also managed to explore India, Thailand, Indonesia, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, Germany Spain, Italy, France, Morocco, Peru, Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, and much of the U.S.- all on a student budget.

It all started in an isolated mountain village in the Dominican Republic: My passion for exploration and promoting health in the global underserved community. A small girl’s grateful smile as I passed her a toothbrush still highlights my memory of that mission trip myself and eight other students undertook to provide hygienic supplies. Since then, I made it my mission to spread compassion by using integrative medicine to improve health outcomes. 

After journaling while studying traditional medicine in India, setting up an eye clinic for a Burmese orphanage, and hiking through foothills on the border of Pakistan with a 50 pound backpack stuffed to the brim with medical supplies, I decided to start sharing my experiences with other curious students.

I Created the How to Travel Broke blog series to expose the opportunities that await in international education through an account of my personal growth, in hopes of unlocking the same potential in fellow students. While working and double majoring full time, I have spent time sharing my heart in hopes of  inspiring others who have experienced similar barriers to rise up and take hold of every opportunity to fulfill their dreams. To keep the Travel tips, templates, and digestible scientific advancements aimed to improve health in the global community coming, feel free donate below!

Currently, I promote preventative interventions in the ICU's at Tampa General Hospital as a Research Nurse studying the effect of toothbrushing in reducing the overwhelming incidence of Ventilator Associated Pneumonia. Combining passion and experience, I aim to optimizing wellness by providing preventative primary health care and contribute to evidence based practice by generating efficacious mind-body research as a Nurse Practitioner and Scientist. 

Countless obstacles may also face you in your quest to study abroad, but there are infinite reasons to step out and explore what this world has to teach you.