It was a warm sunny afternoon in charismatic Barcelona. It was evidently passed the period for observing siesta as the streets were buzzing with tourists and locals alike. There were queues of patrons outside tapas bars as I wiggled my way into one in search of a serving of patatas bravas – fried potatoes with a spicy tomato sauce. While peeping over, under and through the crowds I was greeted by the hostess, to whom I would boldly request, “Table for one please?”
On a solo journey around the world, this would become a norm for me and I quickly had to get over any awkwardness of eating alone. Too often we are uncomfortable to be alone with our thoughts, to eat alone, to enjoy our own company. There is no reason to fear this. In fact I found a new sense of independence and liberation in going solo. Through this experience I was able to observe better appreciation for the meal in front of me, the setting of whichever spot I had picked for that meal and for the company of strangers around me. This proved to be an wonderful feast for the senses – see, smell, taste, hear and feel.
I would also learn that an experience was no less significant or memorable because I was doing it alone and I could completely enjoy the moment for what it was at the time.
It is important to note that for all the times I enjoyed coffee for one, along the way I also enjoyed dinner for 2, drinks for 3 and parties of 10 and for that I count myself lucky and blessed.
My thoughts on this topic? Don’t shy away from but rather enjoy the quiet moments, be grateful for the time for reflection, embrace the opportunities to lunch alone and then appreciate those with whom you do share your experiences.
After all, life is about balance.