Travelling alone can be one of the most rewarding experiences imaginable, however, one of the biggest drawbacks can be the awkwardness you may feel when eating alone.
And if you feel that the discomfort of eating alone is enough for you to put off travelling solo, then fear not – because our suggestions will help you to meeting new people or dine with your best travel partner in years –you.
1. Have a virtual lunch date
You may feel uncomfortable about the idea of sitting down to a meal by yourself, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Your mobile phone can keep you connected with all your friends back on home soil so, in theory you never need eat alone. Smart phones are a great way to keep in touch at all times, so why not use this time to stay connected?
There’s nothing wrong with chatting to friends via text message or social media whilst waiting for your meal. It may seem rude, but hey, it’s your holiday. And if it makes you feel more comfortable, then go ahead and enjoy a virtual lunch date with anyone, anywhere in the world.
And if you don’t like the idea of using your phone at the dinner table, then why not dine with your favourite author and take along a book?
2. Chat with the staff
Take the opportunity to get to know the locals and have a chat with the bar or waiting staff. They’re usually quite friendly and no one knows the lie of the land better than the people who live there. You may even find yourself surprised by the hospitality of strangers. Once you become acquainted, you will feel more comfortable returning to the same café or restaurant because, in a sense, you’ll be visiting friends.
3. Take in your surroundings
If you find yourself eating alone, take a look around. Chances are, there are others that are dining solo just like you. Either way, why not spend the time taking in your surroundings? Take notice of the architecture and nature around you. Stare at the birds, watch people at play and lovers in love. People watching can be a fun way to pass the time. You can make up stories about the people around you, or check out the latest fashions in a foreign land. Take stock of your surroundings and have a much more rewarding experience getting to know the land, and people, that you are visiting.
4. Sit at the bar
Dining solo offers you the chance to be that mysterious person sitting at the bar drinking some exotic cocktail. You’d be surprised at how enigmatic this can be and you may even find that people want to talk to you to find out your story. Sitting at the bar gives you a captive audience – the bar staff, so you’ll have fairly constant stream of chat to help pass the time.
5. You don’t have to eat alone
It’s not uncommon when dining alone to be asked by staff if you’d mind joining another table. Also, don’t be surprised if someone comes up and asks you to join them, or asks to join you – you’re most likely not the only one dining alone. Just remember, you can always say no.
Or why not extend the hand of friendship to a fellow solo diner? It’s easy. All you have to do is approach someone and say, “Hi, my name is xxxx, I’m from Australia, do you mind if I join you?”
Who knows, you may just make a few friends with whom you can share your experiences.
Have you ever had the opportunity to eat alone in a restaurant or café? Why not share you solo dining suggestions for our members?
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