I was always afraid of dining alone. And then I moved to Ireland for one semester to attend university there for a few months. For the first time in my life, I did lots of things by myself. From attending events to having lunch and discovering cozy places and enjoy some chai latte.
However, having dinner by myself, at a table in a restaurant, was still a bit uncomfortable even though I wanted to know what it’d be like. I have no idea why this idea of sitting at a table for one was so terrifying to me, but I think
hope I am not the only one who has ever felt this way.
When I visited Copenhagen last weekend, I finally decided it was time to master the art of dining solo. To get past your fears means you have to face them, right? I walked into a cozy little restaurant and sat down at a table. I have to admit, the first twenty minutes were a bit uncomfortable and awkward. When you move away from your comfort zone, you tend to notice and over-analyze everything a little bit more. Isn’t weird that I’m sitting here alone while the rest is having dinner with loved ones or friends? Do I have something on my face? Did I pronounce the local dish right?
However, after a few minutes, I started to feel more comfortable and even enjoy myself. My eyes wandered from the lovely little family having dinner to the barista behind the bar making a chai latte to two friends who were chatting rapidly in Danish (I think). It actually felt nice. When you are alone you have no choice but to take everything in. You simply cannot hide behind conversations with friends or family.
I have had lunch by myself quite a few times and now I have finally had dinner by myself and I can safely say it was a pleasant evening! If you would like to try it as well, here are a few tips:
Bring an interesting book or magazine. Hiding behind a book or a magazine can feel a bit safer. I think it’s the best way to start if you do not feel completely comfortable with the idea of dining solo. Lots of places have magazines and books you can read while enjoying your dinner.
WiFi is always the answer. Didn’t bring a magazine? Well, there’s plenty to see and read on your phone. Keep up with blogs that you love, interesting articles, messages from loved ones and so on.
Go to a place with an incredibly pretty view. Enjoy seeing people pass by, the inspiring buildings and the lively and crowded streets.
Dining solo is the perfect moment to think about your life and the things you’d like to do some day. Where do you see yourself in a few years? Are you enjoying the city you’re living in? When you find yourself in a city you don’t know, you’ll have plenty of time to think about these kind of things. And every once in a while, a little reflection on your life might not be such a bad idea.
* Photo by Moon Canyon Design