Tips for eating alone when solo traveling
An introvert and a certified weirdo, yes, that would be me!
Scared with people around me but I love to travel. Ahh!! those days as if it happened yesterday, I was in Bangalore city of India. There were tall buildings and the widespread greenery beside roads.
Moving in a taxi from the airport to the city, my right hand slowly went outside the window to catch the light rain-drops…. that was one of the serene experiences I had for the first time in Bangalore. I was instantly attracted to the weather and the vibe as if the city was calling me for a visit.
I was too scared to explore alone but I decided to do it anyway. Hmm.. what next? One of the problems was my relationship with food, and eating food all alone can be tricky at new places for some people like me.
Here are 7 things I did to act less weird :
1. Do a restaurant pre-search online
Wandering alone for good restaurants will only lead you too exhausted. Better to do a quick search for the preferred food you would like to dine on. It doubles the chances of you having a satisfying meal without having to worry about waiting alone. Make a reservation before reaching the venue, if possible.
2. Indulge with yourself
Carry a book, I-pad, kindle, etc. to read after ordering your meal. Why not have your favorite author giving you company while you are waiting for food? I carried a book that discretely described places and history of Bangalore. Or, just using your phone to play games or something else, basically engage yourself, so you are not bored.
3. Don’t be too experimental
It is always better to start eating from your comfort zone. On the first day in Bangalore, I couldn't resist trying everything so I ordered a full platter of biryani, raita, dosa, puris, vegetable curries, and two desserts. That was not only embarrassing but also affected my stomach. Oops! That was terrifying. So, basically try simple items that will be soothing to your mood and health. Then gradually, try new items one at a time.
4. Drop the conscious bothering
We may feel that we are being judged for looks, dress, etc. and stigmatized by almost everyone.
The reality is that people are mostly self-absorbed. Apart from some seconds of noticing they hardly pay any attention or are neither into any conspiracy. Trust me...
It is always better to dress appropriately so, you are not bothered about it the whole time.
Carry the elegance with you and smile.
5. Enjoy some people observing
Watching people at restaurants is such good fun especially when places are unknown. I observe people and try to guess the occasion or mood they are in..
*A couple enters and finds a suitable, dim light kind of a corner place… Umm.. the couple seems to be on a romantic night out.
*A loud cheering suddenly came from behind, I turned around to see “Oh! a birthday group”
Similarly, you can see many others like business colleagues, old couples with their grandchildren, angry couples...oh! etc.
6. Carry cash and some change
Eating out alone can be a bit of an ordeal, especially the first few times. I have been there. An sometimes after delicious food, it feels like never-ending wait for the bill payment, especially when you’ve played with your props and are a bit sleepy from that meal.
I generally ask for the bill early and try to pay in cash using the right change, if possible. This can avoid the prolonged process of paying by credit/debit card or waiting for change.
7. You are stronger than you think
We all have things where we are more confident and daring. Don't have one ? Better to create one for yourself !
You are stronger than you think, believe it, and take yourself out for dinner or some treat.
I am sure you will love being who you are. Alone time is peaceful.
Have you eaten out alone? Do share your experience where you conquered your fears.
Also, let us know if you have any other suggestions. I hope you were able to relate to it.