There have been moments when I wished I could go to see an art exhibit, foreign film, or guilty pleasure romantic comedy, but felt I couldn’t because I didn’t have someone to go with me. After feeling mopey for a bit (an indulgence we all deserve sometimes), I eventually come around to remembering some of my favorite adventures happened solo-style.
I first discovered how much I enjoyed exploring the world on my own during a summer studying in San Jose. My time in town was limited, so I wanted to soak up as much of the Northern California experience as I could. Each weekend was spent exploring a new city for the day. I remember spending the day in Palo Alto because they had an old movie theatre showing a double feature of “Pal Joey” (a musical I love) and “The Manchurian Candidate.” I spent the day strolling through the streets, stopping in book shops and cafes for as long as I liked. It felt like such a luxury to not rush and to let myself do whatever I wanted to in the moment.
It took a few tries before I felt completely comfortable dining alone. At first, it felt as if I needed a book or newspaper to feign being busy (smartphones are the au courant distraction to many a solo diner). Over time, though, I grew comfortable in enjoying a restaurant’s atmosphere with no book or phone to distract me from my alone-ness. Food is so much more enjoyable when taking the time to taste it.
Even though I am married now, and could get my husband to go on dates with me all the time, I still enjoy a movie or museum date by myself sometimes. I always feel more centered and refreshed after taking myself on a date. It’s such a restorative feeling to slow down and let myself enjoy the sensory experience of exploring the world alone.
Do you enjoy taking yourself on a date? We'd love to hear about your favorite places to explore solo!
Photo is from a solo date to the Frye Art Museum. "I Belong Here" by Tavares Strachan.