Thursday, March 29, 2012

Alone But Not Lonely

Do you ever dine solo? Business trips basically make this skill a necessity, unless you only order room service, which, let's be honest, is kind of boring, but I actually started dining solo long before joining the work force. While studying in Paris, I began to practice eating alone, and I truly believe it is a skill you can learn and hone. Paris was a great place to start as solo café visits where patrons sip one cup of café and people watch all afternoon is a national pastime; even so, there is never a bad place to learn because let's be honest, sooner or later there will come a time when dining alone will be unavoidable. Here are some of my tips for braving those first few meals:

  1. Bring a book: although ideally you'll get to a point where you never even take it out of your bag, knowing it's there is like a security blanket for an instant diversion and purpose provider.
  2. Practice at a café: the time it takes you to drink one cup of tea is much shorter than an entire meal and can provide a good starting point to ease into solo dining.
  3. People watch: one of the best things about dining solo is the opportunity to take in the other patrons and truly people watch, something that is much harder when someone is sitting across the table from you.
  4. Avoid the temptation to take out your phone: leave your cell phone tucked away and try to avoid taking it to check email, facebook, text, make phone calls, you name it. Sometimes it's nice to just unplug and spend some quality time with yourself.

These days, I actually enjoy a solo meal every once and awhile and always get a bunch in a business trips. My most recent solo dine: Millennium in San Francisco and boy was it nice.

xx Molly

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