Traveling Solo: Table For One.

In case you haven't figured it out, I like to travel alone. I mean, I won't always say "no" to someone coming on a trip with me... But I actually prefer to do things alone.  And because I was discouraged for so many years from traveling alone, now that I have the space to do it... I love it.

I love being able to completely decide what time I want to get to the airport. I love being able to easily upgrade my seat because I don't have a companion I have to account for in my travels. I love not having to wait for someone to get their bag from baggage claim because they just "had to check it". I love the silence in the car rides to and from the airport - with the exception of a very talkative driver. I love being able to do whatever I want, see whatever I want, eat whatever I want - all whenever I want - because I only have to account for myself.  I even love the awkwardness when booking a table for dinner for just me.

The awkwardness isn't on my part though. It's on the receiving end of my request. Whenever I ask a concierge or hotel staff to help me book a table for dinner for just myself. The conversation typically goes down like this:

Me: Yes, hi. I'd like to book a reservation for 7pm for dinner at Nobu. 
Concierge: Of course, Mrs. Molina. For how many? 
Me: MIZZ Molina. And just for one, please. 
Concierge: Just you? And you want to sit at a table? 
Me: (sigh) Yes. Unless you insist I sit at the bar, which I will happily accommodate if you think it will be too busy. But otherwise, I'd like a table. 
Concierge: Of course, Mizz Molina. We can provide you with a table.
Beach seating for couples in Lombok.

In Lombok, they had no bars for me to sit and eat dinner at. And the tables were typically romantic two-tops on the beach (which I would have been totally fine to eat at) or large tables, where they would space couples out at either ends. It was very confusing for them to imagine why someone would travel solo to Lombok. It's for couples... Or even groups.

But I disagree. I found it perfect for someone traveling by themselves.

And it was quite pleasurable to "shatter" their idea of why someone would visit their resort. And it wasn't just in Lombok... So far it's pretty much happened everywhere except NYC. Whenever I go somewhere and announce that it is just me, they question it... Then feel bad for questioning it. It's as though they think I feel sad (perhaps?) that I am traveling alone.

I do fear that I will have difficulty traveling with others in the future. I will have liked the solitude and the freedom on my travels so much, the thought of traveling with others may feel "blocking." But still, I wouldn't give up these solo experiences for anything.

Not even for a guaranteed table seating at dinner.

Here are some of my memorable meals at a table for one...

Mexican for one in Reykjavik, Iceland.

Chicken Tikka Masala for one in the Little India neighborhood in Singapore.

Breakfast noodles for one in Ubud, Bali.

Guacamole for one in Perth.

Big bowl of Japanese noodles for one in Singapore.

Valentine's Day dessert for one in Lombok.

Appetizers for one in Lombok. There are so many because they're meant to be served in a trio and shared between two people.