Travel is about the gorgeous feeling of teetering in the unknown. -Gaby Basora
The number one question that people ask me when they find out that I went on a trip alone is, “so did you like eat by yourself too?” I am here to tell you that yes, I ate by myself, alone, at restaurants and it wasn’t scary and I didn’t die. I don’t know why it is so astounding to people that someone would eat alone. I know that some solo travelers meet people along the way to hang out with and eat together. That wasn’t my game plan. I went on a solo trip to be solo. So, yes, I did eat alone too. Here is a small step-by-step guide to eating alone.
- Sometimes I looked up restaurants and planned to head to a specific one. Sometimes I just wandered around and found one. Step 1 is that you have to pick where you want to go and walk in the door.
- Step 2 is that you find somewhere to sit. Sometimes restaurants seat you. Sometimes you seat yourself. I always like to pick a spot where I can watch other people. This is mainly because I am a creep. There is nothing I love more than listening into and watching other people’s conversations. These photos are from one of my lunches while in Gdansk. I was the only person in the restaurant and it was AMAZING!
- After you are sitting, you look at the menu and then you order. Fairly simple. If you have been to a restaurant before, you might realize that these steps are very familiar to you. The only difference is that you are alone. I really have come to enjoy dining alone. Sitting in peace with my thoughts is so relaxing. Not having to talk to people or have a conversation can be refreshing from time to time.
- After you order you just sit. You are free to do many things. I think that this is the portion of solo dining that people are afraid of. Don’t be afraid of this part! I know that some people like to sit and read a book. One time I sat and wrote a blog post on my iPad. Sometimes I sit and sip wine and look around. Other times I have sat and texted people on my phone. Taking selfies is always a good option. As you can see below, one day my lipstick looked fierce and I just had to take tons of selfies. Don’t worry! I didn’t put all the ones I took in! Do whatever feels best to you. At first, sure, it might feel a little awkward but trying new things is always awkward in the beginning. If you don’t try then you’ll never know.
- Soon your food will arrive. Then you eat. Take it slow. Don’t rush, this is your time to relax. It can feel a little vulnerable eating with no one sitting at your table, especially when you are surrounded by tables of people dining together. Don’t sweat it. Most people aren’t paying attention to you at all. They’re so wrapped up in their own lives and conversations that they don’t notice you. Also, who cares if they do, you’re never going to see them again. Ever.
- After you eat, hang out a little more. Sit and sip some coffee or enjoy a dessert.
- Pay your bill and you have survived! I guarantee that it wasn’t as bad as you thought it was going to be. Hopefully, you feel triumphant leaving the restaurant. You have just accomplished what many people are too afraid to even attempt in their whole life!
What are your thoughts on dining alone? If you have some tips that I haven’t included, please add them in the comments below!
Happy solo dining!!