Solo travels #1: Eating alone

How to eat alone

We’ve all been there at one point, or another, haven’t we? At an eating establishment alone?

Even if it’s not when you’re not usually one to travel alone, admit it- you’ve dreaded the thought. Because let’s face it, eating alone has a certain stigma attached to it.

And we’ve tried everything to avoid the scenario. Like, the fake phone call from our friend Sally, whose daughter has taken ill, and has to bail on lunch as a result (note to self: turn phone on silent before attempting fake phone call in future).

Then there are those of us you who have a fake significant other who has suddenly decided to stand us up on our dinner date! How dare they! We’ve ‘broken up’ with them in front of other customers over the phone, only to have the Johnny Depp look-alike of a waiter come over with a chocolate mousse for dessert, and his condolences. (Okay, perhaps that last bit only happens in the movies. Or, er, perhaps the waiter was a Quasimodo-esque character.)

Not that I’ve ever pulled something like that, mind you. Nope, not me. (Read: OK, so I sort of have. But the waiter was no Johnny Depp, and the mousse wasn’t great; that’s another story for another post.)

Anyhow, without further ado, I give you–

The Ultimate Guide to Dining Alone

  1. Table for two – walk into the swanky restaurant that has a 4.8 rating on Urbanspoon and ask for a table for two. Because, duh, you’re going to pull the fake phone call scenario!
  2. Food critic undercover – take a notebook, a pen, a camera, and some spectacles with you (the type you can hang around your neck when necessary). Adopt a pretentious name, and perhaps a French accent, because you studied cooking at Le Cordon Bleu obviously. Nibble, take notes, take photos, and make those waiters and waitresses sweat!
  3. Take a book – for the experienced solo traveller who has no hang ups about eating alone but just wants to switch things up whilst eating alone, ditch your phone for a book or magazine.
  4. Smile at the hottie next to you – I’ve often found whenever I’m alone, I end up sitting right beside or right opposite a rather attractive gent who resembles Matt Bomer. And sometimes we’ve had great conversations, and sometimes his IQ has been lower than a dinner plate’s. Either way, company is company if you’re desperate for it!
  5. Be mysterious and write in a journal – work that whole ‘I could be a vampire from Twilight or the next Hemingway’ vibe, and scribble away in a leatherbound journal. Bonus points if you write poetry, and order Scotch midday.
  6. Sit at a communal table – this is still somewhat of a new concept to me. Apparently a lot of restaurants nowadays (read: hipster restaurants nowadays) have a table for people who’re alone or who didn’t make a reservation in advance… not the worst way to meet a few people if you’re travelling.
  7. Accept that you’re doing this alone, and it’s no big deal – Whoop-dee-doo! You’re alone. So what? If you’re uncomfortable, great! You’re moving outside of your comfort zone. If you’re worried about what people think– don’t! You’re independent, and don’t need company every time you dine outside. Sit back, order a glass of wine, and enjoy the meal you went out to enjoy.

Need more proof? Check out what Susan Cain had to say on ‘why it’s ok to eat alone

Anyone else pulled any weird stunts dining alone? Anyone avoid it at all costs? Drop a comment below and let me know (oooh, that rhymed!)

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Author: Akanksha Singh

Twenty-something travel addict || Likes: coffee, sarcasm, the Oxford comma, blue skies, and cobblestone roads. || Dislikes: rudeness, carrots, and pigeons (read: winged-rats with satanic eyes).

5 thoughts on “Solo travels #1: Eating alone”

  1. More #7 please.
    You’re traveling, you’re allowed to eat alone. Eating with a group could mean that you’re surrendering to their plans even though it’s your vacation.
    Or maybe not. Either way, do you and let ’em stare.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this! I’m considering doing some solo travel. Think I’ll definitely grab a book to scribble in when I eat solo. Look forward to more of these kinda posts. A safety female post would be handy as it’s one of the only things stopping me from going on a solo adventure.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m used to eating alone now, as I’ve done a ton of solo traveling. The best thing I’ve found is to be confident, order a glass a wine, and do some serious people-watching. I linger, take my time ordering, and enjoy every bite. I’ve learned to simply not care what anyone thinks; if they feel sorry for me, let them. Actually, I’ve had better times dining alone than I have in many people’s company. Who knows how much those people in groups are really enjoying themselves. The key is to believe you’re entitled to be there just as any romantic couple or boisterous family. And enjoy the whole experience to the hilt. I always do. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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