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Sisterly Love: This Tight Trio Will Always Have Paris

Editor’s Note: On several NextTribe trips, we’ve hosted sisters traveling together. We always love to witness that lifelong bond; it’s infectious and adds energy to the whole trip. But until June’s Paris extravaganza, we’d never had three sisters together. “Margaret, Sharon, and Kathryn were the warm center of our group—lovely with each other but still wide open to new friendships and experiences,” said NextTribe founder Jeannie Ralston, who was part of the Paris trip. We were so impressed with the trio that we asked Sharon to write about the sisters’ bond and travel history.


I have to give my parents credit. They provided me with the opportunity for a life lived in symmetry. They spaced their three daughters equally—4.5 years apart. I have an older sister, Margaret, and I have a “baby” sister, Kathryn (or Kathy, as I have always called her). And that makes me the “middle” sister. As a middle child, I never had a pre-determined role and had the freedom to take my cues from them both

NextTribe has scheduled its next trip to Paris in May 2024. Maybe you’d like to come with a sister—by blood or by choice? Until Aug. 31st, you can receive a $150 discount with the code EARLYBIRD. Details here. 

A four-and-a-half year age difference, while you’re growing up, is huge. Our high school years, our college years, our musical influences, our fashion choices were all experienced independently, without sibling counsel or competition. We weren’t close in those years. We just nodded as we passed each other in the hallway.

Read More: There’s Nothing Like the Sister Bond, Especially Now

Getting to Know Each Other

Sharon, Margaret, and Kathryn in younger years.

As we moved into our 20’s, we each made different choices. We lived in different cities, different states, different countries. One of us married and had babies, one of us married and quickly divorced, one of us didn’t marry at all. We each had histories that the others knew nothing about. Secrets that had never been shared. But the lure of travel started to change that.

Each trip helped us know each other better, forged a love that was always simmering.

It started for me with my older sister Margaret. We were in our early 30’s, we had good jobs, we were unencumbered by spouses or children, and I had just won a company sales contest that awarded an expense paid trip for two to Eleuthera, in the Bahamas. Because I was single, not married like all the other salesmen, the company tried to change the prize to a trip for one. After a very heated exchange, I convinced them to keep it as a trip for two. I told them I had already promised my sister that she could take the trip with me. (I hadn’t.) The company relented. And now I had to convince Margaret to come to Eleuthera with me. She said yes, and we had a blast.

And for the next five years Margaret and I traveled together many times. To Caribbean Islands and Mexican spas. To Chicago, NYC, Philadelphia, and Aspen. Each trip helped us know each other better, forged a love that was always simmering, and turned my sister into my best friend.

Margaret and I both entered into committed relationships in our late 30s/early 40s and our travel became more couples oriented. Time became a limiting factor as our careers heated up. And the Thelma and Louise roadtrip we talked about (without the dive into the Grand Canyon) became an aspirational fantasy for the next two decades.

It’s Sister Travel Time

sisters traveling together, sister travel

Kathryn, Sharon and Margaret on a trip a few years ago.

But in my 50s, both sisters (yes, baby sister now finally had some time and resources to join in) were ready to explore new things and we started doing an annual sisters’ trip. We didn’t travel far, we didn’t need to. The objective was to have non-programmed time together. To giggle, reminisce, tell stories, and cry together. To shop, have our fortunes told, visit gardens, or drink cocktails on the beach. Time where we didn’t have to care for some other person, time where we would take care of us. And in doing so, our relationship with each other deepened. We now had two best friends who we could tell anything and who would always be there for us.

In my 50s, both sisters were ready to explore new things and we started doing an annual sisters’ trip.

So that brings us to Paris. Paris was a bigger sisters’ trip than we had ever done before. International travel, far from home, relatively expensive. We found NextTribe almost by accident. I was attracted to the San Miguel  “Day of the Dead” experience, but Paris was happening in June. My birthday week. At this time in life, that 4.5-year age gap has totally disappeared and for all three of us this was a true, “if not now, when?” moment.

We had all reached a point in our lives where we needed a sisters’ trip on steroids. We wanted the giggles and the tears, the secrets and the stories told, but we also wanted the memories to become bigger to fill the empty corners of our aging lives. We wanted to feel awe; we needed to feel joy; and we craved the full five senses explosion of authentic French food, French design, and French attitude.

The French Connection

Sharon, Kathryn and Margaret in the Luxembourg Gardens on NextTribe’s Paris trip in June.

Finding NextTribe at this very moment, for this very trip at this specific time was a gift from the universe. We werent really sure we had the stamina to plan a 10 days in Paris on our own as this was the first post-pandemic trip for each of us. But we needed this trip. I really needed this trip. I needed to breakout of the “shut-in” mentality that was creeping around my ankles, ever since our lives were upended by lockdown.

I didn’t realize that I would emerge from this experience with 12 new “best friends,” 12 new “sisters.”

With NextTribe I started to exhale, we didn’t have to plan anything. We just had to show up and go along for the ride. We were traveling with strangers (12 like-minded women), and we were traveling with each other (my two best friends). Both factors provided some comfort. I didn’t know at the time that I would emerge from this experience with 12 new “best friends,” 12 new “sisters”.

We arrived two days early to insure that the fatigue of jet lag didn’t impact our experience. We checked into our sweet little, perfectly located, Left Bank hotel. We got a massage, drank tons of water, took a nap. By evening we were ready to explore so we showered, dressed and walked across the street to the (famous) Cafe de Flore.

We were greeted with “Bonsoir, Madame” (omg, he speaks French!), seated at a sidewalk table to watch the locals head home from work (omg, we’re in Paris!), presented with a delightful assortment of charcuterie, (I’m in heaven, Frenchfood!!) and poured three incredible glasses of wine. We raised our glasses to toast the triumph of getting here, looked into each other’s eyes, and, as if on cue, we all started to cry.

Read More: 14 Love Stories: Celebrating Fun and Friendship in France



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