A few days ago I was talking to an acquaintance about my plans to go on a mini vacation in the next few months. They were happy for me and asked if I was going with anyone. I told them no and explained that I normally traveled alone for the most part and like it that way, because I never miss out on the things I want to see and do.
For some people as soon as you tell them you go out by yourself they get a bit shocked. I had a friend from University who said she couldn’t even stay in her house alone and couldn’t imagine traveling alone.
I started going out alone in my early 20s when I noticed if a friend said they couldn’t go to a party, movie or event with me I ended up missing out on things I wanted to do.
I used to want to go places with others. I wanted to be the girl that always had friends to go places with me. To go to plays, movies, parties and have friends around to have meaningful moments with. But I always encountered that when I would ask certain people to go out they wouldn’t be able to or weren’t interested in going to the things I was.
So around the age of 23 I decided I couldn’t miss out on things because of friends or the lack of them. At 23 I learned to love my own company and to go to the places I wanted alone. Since then I don’t wait for anyone and I hardly ask anyone to go anywhere with me. I’m my best company.
It wasn’t easy to make the decision to go to places alone. I had to learn how to enjoy my own company. I can stay home alone (I have basically become a hermit) but I didn’t know how to be out in public at events alone.
So I started off slow because I wasn’t sure if it were possible to enjoy outings by myself. My first attempt was to the movies. I can’t remember what movie I saw, but I do remember wanting to see a certain movie and no one had the time. So I went by myself and I actually enjoyed the movie and my time alone.
I realized I didn’t need to have someone sitting beside me to have a good time. From there I went to lunches and dinners by myself. If I wanted to try a new restaurant and no one else had time I wouldn’t wait for friends to make time for me. I would just go.
At first sitting in a restaurant alone felt daunting but with time and practice I didn’t mind being at a table for one.
As time went by I realized I liked my own company very much (I’m a great person to go out with). So I moved on to other things that people usually think they need someone else to do. I started traveling alone and enjoyed the experiences so much that I prefer to travel alone. I have gone to concerts on my own because I like a variety of (unique) music that sometimes it’s hard to find people to go to certain concerts with me (except Beyonce, you have an extra ticket to her concert you will find a friend to go with).
As I said in my previous post TIFF was recently in town. I have attended TIFF for many years now by myself. I do attend a few showings with friends but if someone doesn’t want to see the same film as me it wont stop me. This year I went to a few showings alone. I have no problem to stand in line alone and not feel any kind of way about it.
I never feel like I’m missing out because I go alone.
For anyone who has felt the way I did in my 20s, about wanting to go to certain places but had no friend available or willing to go with you, I suggest you learn to love your own company and go alone. Don’t worry it’s not that scary. You can do it. Trust me. Here’s some advice.
If you are scared of going out alone you can take things gradually. The first place you can try going to alone is the Library. You can sit down and read by yourself in there and see how you like being alone. Since you have to be silent in the Library this gives you a great chance to try being alone with no one o talk to and see if you can really handle being by yourself outside.
From there you can move to the movies. It’s dark in the theatre, trust me no one is looking at you. Once you have conquered the movies you can move on to lunch by yourself. If you are scared of still being alone and people looking at you, go with a book to read while you wait for your meal.
Then you can try dinner and move on to all the other places you have dreamed of visiting and thought you needed someone to go with. Eventually you might travel alone like I do.
*Traveling alone is a big step and you have to take many precautions, so if you feel comfortable doing that it’s fine.*
It’s just great to learn to love your own company.
Don’t miss out on life and the things you want to do just because you have no one who wants to go with you. Sometimes you go out with others and they can even ruin the experience. I went to the movies one time with friends and they talked the whole time and made it hard to focus on the plot of the movie. It was a horrible time out.
If you want to go to the museum and your friend is busy just go. You never know you might meet new people who share the same appreciation for the museum as you. Even if you don’t meet new people you can at least say that you went out and did something that made you happy and had a great experience.
The only person you will spend the rest of your life with is you. So take the time to know yourself better and love spending time alone with the one person who truly loves you.