Oct 14, 2011

Reflections of an awkward business traveller.....

My line of work occasionally/periodically requires a lot of traveling and most of the time, I travel alone. After numerous occasions of dining alone in hotel restaurants, I can't help but wonder if there is anyone out there who has the perfect solution to make them feel less awkward about that? Seriously.... What is it?? I feel pretty confident, I am not scared to speak in front of a big audience (especially not if I know my subject well), I am 32 years old, I've been around.......so why, WHYYYYY do I always feel so incredibly weird and awkward, dining alone? It's not as if this is something rare or out of the ordinary....in fact, quite the opposite....
Anyway, eating is a must (well, at least for me!! I'm not exactly one of those "poking-in-my-dinner-kind-of-gals" ;)), so confession time...... When I'm dining alone, I usually.....

Order room service to spare myself of this whole awkwardness
This is my most frequent solution.....a bit like sticking my head in the sand....I know....

Play with my iPhone, pretending to look extremely busy 
This is my favorite....rather practical as the iPhone is small and the only risk is dropping it in my soup.

Bring my laptop and work while I eat (or at least pretend to).
Very impractical and sometimes not a possibility for a 2ppl table + you always run the risk of running out of battery which would make it even worse than simply eating alone without any tools or distractions!

Try to finish as fast as possible 
You know...to make the torture short! Normally this means eating too fast and it has its consequences sometimes.....let's not go there.

Read a book 
Hmmm.....l must admit I'm not a fan of this solution as I find it extremely hard to concentrate on anything but the food....if it's good!

Read magazines
That is when they are available, because I never remember to bring any...

Avoid eye contact with other people 
Because for sure, I wouldn't want any company that I didn't choose myself!

Make faces with the food
Basically, this means playing with my food. Normally only a solution I use for breakfast as during any other meal, I'm simply too hungry for this activity. Of course, this won't exactly give the surrounding restaurant guests the impression that I'm vey refined....but I don't really care as first of all, I'm not and secondly, It's fun!

Does any of the above ring a bell to anyone? Do you have the perfect solution to remove this awkwardness? If yes, could you please be a sweetheart and share it?? 
Thanks in advance.

The uncomfortable solo traveller:


  1. Going for a smily-PIZZA in Nyon with me :)))

  2. Excellent topic. I never, never order room service. I read a book or magazine at the table until the food comes. Once I eat I start studying all the other people and tables: What kind of a business dinner is that over there? What industry could they be working in? What are their nationalities? Who is that couple over there? How long do they know each other ... is it a first date? Are they in love, or is one of them really bored with the others company? And so on, and so on. A glass of really good wine helps.

    Yes the others might be thinking the same of me, but I don't care. - Usually I dine alone in towns where nobody else knows me (otherwise I'd be dining with the friends I have in that town!). And heck, next day I'm gone :-)


  3. I would go with Dominiks suggestion, thats what i do if im alone dining in a restaurant. We have all have that feeling when we are alone in a crowded place and dont know anyone there..:-) But just try to do it in youre own kind of way, it helps realy and it could get you a big laugh sometimes to.. Paps

  4. Chris: If I was having dinner with you, this would be the farthest thing from my mind ;))) ....and I LOVED the smiley pizza! Hehe!

    Dominik: That's great!! ......actually I tried it last week when I was travelling. It works =)))) Thanks! x

    Paps: I did =))))


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