This was me most nights on my travels “mesa para uno?” Yes table for one, the look of annoyance I got most times from the waiter/waitress, it is a pain to find a spot for one person in a busy restaurant!
Food is my thing. I love it and it is one of the main reasons I love to travel to new places. I get so much pleasure from dining out, learning to enjoy it on my own was a challenge I encountered in my solo travel. It didn’t take me long though, and I wrote this piece whilst on one of my last nights of my trip in the beautiful and romantic city of Seville in Spain.
The day consisted of indulging in Tapas and Sangria over lunch at ‘duo tapas’ (thanks Katherine for the recommendation). It was so good I thought about going back for dinner! But no so many other places to try. I read a few online reviews about the best restaurants in Seville and decided on an Italian one ‘Da Pino’. I know I should have been eating Spanish food while in Spain, but I had fallen in love with Italian food earlier in my trip so one last meal I felt was fitting before I left Europe. So this is where I started writing some things about my experiences and feelings of dining alone and how I embraced this experience, also to keep me occupied whilst dining alone pretending I’m some kind of esteemed food blogger or travel writer!
Food is fuel and nourishment for our bodies, this has always been the way I have viewed it and why I started my blog. But there is another important component – enjoyment. Food is enjoyable, it is a pleasurable experience and one of my favourite things to do is go out for a nice meal with friends. Dining alone however is not something I would choose to do back home. I find it uncomfortable enough when the person you are dining with goes off to the bathroom – thank goodness for mobile phones! Well this couldn’t save me on my trip as generally there was no WiFi so it was just me and the wonderful food. So I had to get over the stares, the annoyance of the waitresses having to find a spot for one person, the “no we don’t have WiFi”, ordering in another language, and also drinking alone – a “vino de la casa” with dinner, why not? With nothing to look at other the the hundreds of travel pictures I’d taken that day, there was a lot of time to just be, to observe, to think and also to really appreciate the food in all its glory.
Travelling alone was not originally the plan, well not for more than a couple of days anyway. Things change and here I was with 5 weeks solo, when I was faced with this on the other side of the world I was literally terrified! But at the same time what an amazing opportunity, I was “stuck” in; I was in Italy without a plan! Life is all about overcoming challenges and this was just another one – I can definitely think of worse situations to be in! Having no plan or agenda just “winging it” (people that know me know this is not my style at all!) I set off on my solo adventure taking one day at a time, arriving at a destination, loving it and staying on for an extra few days then taking a train or bus somewhere else. I based my decisions mainly on recommendations from people I met as well as the travel and food blog reviews I read along the way. I don’t think you can really go wrong in Europe – there were no bad decisions or wrong turns, just adventures.
I met so many amazing people along the way, definitely more open to meeting people being on my own. Thank you to those beautiful people who I shared meals and good times with, and who saved me from the “mesa para uno” scenario. I had the time of my life exploring new places every day, going on adventures and trying new things. I wouldn’t change a thing about it, at the same time I look forward to sharing meals with my lovely friends and family now that I am back home 🙂