I was in Varadero, Cuba and decided to hit a buffet. While being seated at a quiet table, the hostess ask if I wanted cafe con leche and juice. I responded si! She then asked me if my husband would be joining me. I said no, no husband. The sad pout and pathetic look made me howl.
Who hasn’t had that feeling that all eyes are on you when sitting at a restaurant table by yourself. It feels like you are a goldfish in a bowl. It can feel awkward at first, but practice does make perfect.
This made me think about how to make this situation better for my readers. There are many options for singles such as culinary tours, cooking tours and even options to dine in local homes.
It is always important when your travelling solo to keep your awareness levels high and safety first but don’t let fear prevent you from enjoying your time in your new city. If you aren’t traveling with an expense account, you likely have invested a small fortune to get to where you are. Sitting in your hotel room afraid to leave would be a shame.
What can you do to relieve the uneasiness of dining alone? Think differently about how you eat. Move away from the traditional meal of sitting in a restaurant and discover your city with experts. You will meet other travellers, food and beverage specialists and walk off some of those calories you are consuming all while learning about the local cuisine.
When I hit Madrid next spring, I will definitely be taking advantage of this option. I’ve got my eye on this Madrid Market Food Tour with #Viator.
My tips for dining alone:
- Bring a book or write in your journal; but try it without.
- Ask your server for their food/beverage recommendations; it opens up an avenue for discussion.
- Dress like you are famous; make an effort and smile. People will wonder who is that person?
- Ditch the table and eat take-out. Grab your meal and find a nice place to people-watch such as a park.
- If you see another single person; ask them join you; some restaurants seat singles together. An example of this would be a sushi counter.
- Safety is important; keep your awareness levels high
- Research the country and their traditions. Some countries might frown upon a woman dining alone.
Drop me a note to let me know how you made out.