How frustrating it is to search out the perfect course only to find it is a couple of hundred miles away in another part of the country. I seem to be inexorably drawn to unique courses I have no way of attending: “gyotaku” fish-printing in Wales, "kuksa" carving in Devon or dry stone walling in Yorkshire. Well, I guess I could attend if I had the funds to include accommodation and if I was feeling particularly brave about eating dinner on my own in the local pub with just my book for company, but that’s not really what I had in mind.
I have reached a certain stage in life where my children are (virtually) flying solo and I feel it might, at last, be time for me. Suddenly single friends and those coming up for retirement are thinking along similar lines. We want to make the most of every day and do all that stuff we’ve been contemplating for years, or at least only had time to dabble in: exploring new places, learning new things, meeting new people. It feels like it’s now-or-never – either we sit back and grow old resignedly or sally forth boldly and embrace this new chapter in life.
Maybe ‘sally forth boldly’ is a bit too strong. But I don’t want to have to wait on other people’s availability or compromise overly on where I go or how I spend my time.
What I really want is a ready-made friend in every town, so I can travel on my own, but stay somewhere warm and welcoming. I can sign up for that local course, wherever it may be, and at the end of the day, I can come home to a glass of wine and a good chat with a like-minded soul who will maybe help me plan the next day’s outing.
As a 50-something woman myself, I know I feel most comfortable staying with other women like me. And I’d be happy to host too. The thought of all this gave rise to an idea which, the more I considered, the more excited I became.
What we needed was a community of “sisters”, a network of friends who had in common a love of travel and learning and a desire to make the most of life. A network that could safely look after one another for a few days at a time, offering friendship and practical help, encouraging each other in our pursuit of happiness, adventure and fulfilment. It would be affordable for all and generate a little income for the host. It would provide stimulation and satisfaction and keep our grey matter from turning black.
I discussed all this with my friend, Karen, and she agreed we should just do it - create the community ourselves - and so it was that SisterStay came into being, launched in 2019. We are really excited about the journey ahead. All those courses. All those destinations. All those friends we’ve not yet met. Join us.
Please note: for peace of mind, we verify the identity of everyone wishing to join our community.
And men, don’t fret; we’re thinking about something for you too...