I have been traveling quite a bit for work these days, which inevitably leads to eating many meals alone. Eating by myself is not something I have ever really enjoyed — and I realized during a values exercise I took in my coach training program that sharing a meal with my family is an important part of my life. I ate at the dinner table with my family every night of the week growing up, so I feel a natural pull to want to eat at the table with my family as an adult.
But when you’re stuck in a hotel or airport alone, you just have to make do with what you have. Here are some of my tips for making solo meals enjoyable:
Order something nice. You’ll be much more likely to have a great meal if you’re eating something delicious. Don’t skimp just because you’re alone, all meals are meant to be enjoyed! Don’t forget to order yourself a nice glass of wine!
Take advantage of the opportunity to people watch. By far my favorite part about dining alone is the time I have to take in my surroundings. If I’m eating with someone else my focus would be on them. But if I’m alone I can people watch to my heart’s content without ignoring my date.
Catch up on your reading. If I’m in a quite cafe or restaurant, sometimes I will bring along the newspaper and catch up on the world news. Or, if I’m in the middle of a really great book I might pull out my Kindle. Right now I’m reading The Red Notebook and I have about 10 other books on my must-read list (see below!).
I always love supporting fellow bloggers whenever they do something amazing — like when they write a book! It’s no secret that I love everything and anything about France and Paris, so when Jennifer L. Scott, of The Daily Connoisseur, announced she had self-published her book on her time living in Paris, I went right to Amazon.com to purchase my own Kindle copy. Her book, Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris, has since been officially published by Simon & Schuster and has been receiving rave reviews! Earlier this week I saw her book at TJMaxx and, even though I own it electronically, I scooped it up so I could have a hard copy for “reference” in my collection of French living, lifestyle and parenting books, which is starting to overflow!
My favorite chapter is Chapter 8: Look Presentable Always. Since I work from home 95% of the time I feel like this is something I struggle with every day, and whenever I find myself still wearing pajamas at noon (yes, it happens!) I like to read over some of her passages to inspire and motivate myself. One of my favorite passages:
“Avoid telling yourself you’re ‘just going to the grocery store’ as an excuse to look like a complete frump. You may think you won’t see anyone you know–but trust me, you will. You’ll see your ex-lover and your frenemy.”
Now, I don’t know too many people in my new town yet, and I certainly don’t have any ex-lovers here, but it really is such a true statement for many of us. Some of my other favorite chapters include Chapter 1: Snacking is So Not Chic and Chapter 18: Find Simple Pleasures.
To read Jennifer L. Scott’s fabulous book, Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris, run out to your nearest Anthropologie, local bookstore, or download it on Amazon.com! Also, be on the look out for her new book! Not sure when it’s coming out, but she announced on Facebook recently that it’s coming soon. I know I can’t wait to read it!