| PHOTOGRAPHY | by Shannon MurphyEmily HampstenSarah StokkeViv De La Paz and Amanda Boleman

In March 2015, a crew of my DePaul ladies (#dpu4lyfe) made the 24-hour journey from Chicago to Thailand for a trip of epic proportions. None of them had ever been to Asia and I was looking forward to navigating them through the adventure. It had been forever since I'd seen them, so needless to say my excitement levels were off the charts.

I knew we had an open-minded group, but Emily, Devin, Sarah, Viv and Shannon blew me away. Trying to coordinate six girls on a vacation can be tricky to say the least, but we managed to make sure that everyone got to do what they wanted without any upset.

That meant alllllll the Thai food we could handle, along with a healthy dose of Leo beers and B52 shots in Bangkok at my favorite rooftop bars, restaurants and clubs. We hit all the major highlights for first-timers and still left room for market strolling and more than one massage. Check out my 48 Hours in Bangkok post for details on everything you see above; it was completely inspired by this trip.

The girls had seven full days to spend in the country, so I recommended choosing between going up north for culture or down south for R&R and partying on the islands. I'm all about traveling slow and spending time in a destination rather than constantly being in transit. It's possible to do more, but you can sacrifice quality when trying to squeeze in too much. Factor in jet lag and you'll be glad you didn't push yourself to change locations every other day.

Having only spent one night in Chiang Mai in 2014, I was pumped when the girls decided we would head north...

More on that to come!