Worries of loneliness often plague beginner solo travelers. When traveling solo you have to be willing to do things people typically do with a partner.
What one of the top things people feel awkward doing alone?:
Going out to eat.
Questions about my solo dining experiences are always quite popular whenever I come back from a trip abroad.
So, you just ate alone in the restaurant? All by yourself? Didn't you feel awkward?
Although I have traveled alone a number of times, and often take myself out to eat, I do admit, I still feel a little awkward dining alone. It's a social norm, eating with others, so it's natural to feel a little silly at first. However, if you're dining with shame are you even dining alone?
All perceived awkwardness aside, eating alone is pretty awesome. You get to order what you want with no judgment (well, except maybe your waiter lol), you can catch up on reading, or plan where to go next. So, go ahead and get that table for one and follow these tips for dining alone while traveling.
1. Keep yourself busy.
One of the awkward things about eating alone is twiddling your thumbs waiting for your food to arrive. Fill up that time with something to do like read a book or write in your travel journal. I typically bring my phone so I catch up on the news, scroll Facebook, update Instagram, jot down blog post ideas, etc.
2. Have a drink
There's something about a woman nursing a cocktail and watching the world go by that is mysterious and sexy. You can also calm your nerves with couple glasses of Rosé.
3. Have that drink at the bar.
If you're chatty sitting at the bar might be the best option. Bars tend to have cheap food and they are more casual and social. You can chat up the bartender, who might be bored on a slow weekday night or fellow patrons also looking to converse. Some bars also have TVs you can occupy yourself with while enjoying your food. Alternatively, restaurants with communal seating are becoming increasingly popular.
4. People watch
The timeless act of people watching and eavesdropping on others' conversations can be one of the most entertaining things you can do while eating alone. Imagining the conversations people are having or what their life story is could keep me occupied for days. When I want to people watch, I tend to ask for a table outside or near a window so I can watch people on the street. Just remember not to stare.
5. Don't be annoying
Maybe you know what I'm talking about; the person who is overeager to converse with others, constantly trying to catch someone's eye. Don't do that. I will admit, I have been guilty of this before. I was so overeager to not sit in silence during my meal I ended up talking too much to those around me, and even tried to insert myself into someone else conversation (I know, embarrassing!). But you live and you learn. Let your conversations emerge organically, don't force anyone to have a conversation with you. Stay aware of social cues, maybe others around you just want to enjoy their food.
6. Be confident
If you look like you're comfortable, no one will think twice about the fact that you're dining alone. If you feel awkward, this is one of those "fake it till you make it" scenarios. If you're worried about people thinking it's weird to dine alone you just have to act like it's not weird. If you show you're uncomfortable people will be able to pick up on that.
One of the many benefits of traveling alone is the ability to order whatever you want at a restaurant with no judgement. I gladly enjoyed several glasses of #Rosé and two scoops of #gelato. Did I mention this place has an #eiffeltower view? * * * Check my latest blog post to get some tips about traveling solo, link in bio * * #travel #instablogger #instablog #latergram #visitparis #paris #parisrecommendations #solotravel #solotraveler #solotraveltips #newblogpost #newblogger #france #backpackingeurope #instatravel #instago #follow #followfriday #redhead #redheadtraveler #femaletravelbloggers #ftb #femaletravelblogger
7. Don't give #$%&.
In all honestly, no one probably even notices or cares you're eating alone. Everyone is a little self-absorbed (yes even me and you). Everyone else in the restaurant is probably concerned with their own dining experience or life problems. People are self-absorbed, just a fact of life. So, don't worry, it's unlikely anyone is looking your direction and thinking, "Aw, what a poor pathetic person eating all alone." No. No one thinks that and if they do they suck. If they are thinking about you, it's probably because they are envious of super confident, independent, and worldly-looking solo diner siting across the room (aka you).