Latest posts by Julie Zantopoulos (see all)
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We’ve had a couple of badass indie chicks talk about traveling solo and I admire the hell out of them for it. How exciting it must be to head to Europe alone and wander through streets where you don’t know the language or anyone around you! Personally, I find the idea absolutely terrifying. I adore alone time but if I’m going to the movies, dinner, or out for a drink I want to be around friends. The thought of heading out alone filled me with anxiety.
Recently I decided that enough was enough and it was time for me to see what it was all about. I took a couple of hours on a weekday that I had free and went into a town nearby. It’s a trendy town with a main street full of shops, bistros, and business people coming and going to the courthouse. Yes, it was a baby step compared to heading overseas alone…but hey, you gotta start somewhere.
After finding a parking spot, I grabbed my purse and hummed a couple lines to Whitesnake’s “Here I Go Again On My Own” while looking for somewhere to eat. I walked a bit until I found a nice little café that was busy, but not too busy. I settled into a table outside on the sidewalk so I could people watch. Sipping an unsweetened tea and enjoying a cup of soup before my salad, I realized that this was actually really nice.
Despite my fears, nobody looked at me strangely because I was sitting alone. Nobody whispered or pointed at the lonely woman eating her lunch. Since I travel nowhere without a notebook to jot down ideas in, my nook, or my phone, it’s not like I was really alone anyway. I opened my notebook and started making a To Do List for the week and then started tackling it. Before I left that table, I had an outline of a fiction piece and a rough draft of two different posts for my website along with ideas for multiple pieces for The Indie Chicks. It was productive, it was refreshing, and I really enjoyed myself. Above all else, I was surprised!
I paid my bill, got up to walk the street a bit, and found myself walking differently. I wasn’t rushing from place to place; I walked leisurely, smiling and engaging with people. I did some window shopping and stepped into little boutiques to chat with shop owners. I greeted some people on the street, stooped to pet some cute puppies, and nodded to people sitting out on their steps.
I’m not waiting on anyone!
As a single woman in my early 30’s whose friends are married and having kids, I have realized that going solo is a great choice for me. Want to see that local band, that movie, try that new restaurant, or just craving a drink after work. My newest challenge for myself is to just do it! After all there is a reason that I am child free; I wanted the freedom to do what I wanted when I wanted. Why in the world would I stay home because I can’t find a friend to go with me then?
The thing is, you never know what life might bring your way if you are open to it. Think about it for a second. How often do you head out solo? I’m not talking about going for a run with your ear buds in, or running errands while rushed. Remember that movie you really wanted to see in the theaters but you couldn’t find anyone to go with…so you had to catch it OnDemand months later? Well, why couldn’t you have gone alone?
Go outside your comfort zone.
I’m not saying head out alone all the time; I still prefer going out with friends, but I am saying to brave the solo missions. Head to the local bookstore, coffee shop, movie theater, or bar by yourself. Don’t sit in your room next time you are on travel for work, instead head out and see what the local nightlife is like. Any writer will tell you that there is no inspiration like sitting and observing the people around you. Next time you have writer’s block don’t sit in and drive yourself crazy; get out, get a cup of coffee, and people watch.
No matter what you decide to do remember that you are a badass woman. Ditch the hesitation and embrace your confident inner kickass woman. There is nothing that you can’t go out and do on your own. You are there the master of your time and your environment. Get out and interact with it, engage with it, and be present in it.
My Top 5 Tips for a Solo Date
- If you’re nervous take a book, notebook, or magazine. Keeping busy makes you feel less alone.
- Taking in a movie is a great first step-it’s dark and nobody is paying attention to you. You blend in.
- Don’t stay local! If you’re worried about somebody seeing you out alone go somewhere where nobody knows you-who cares what they think?
- Acknowledge that you are uncomfortable-you don’t have to deny that-but then push past it.
- Reward yourself. Maybe you splurge on a ring you find in a shop, a small cone, or a new book. Whatever it is, give yourself a pat on the back for facing your fears.
What is your favorite thing to do on a solo date? We want ideas!
You are there the master of your time and your environment. Get out and interact with it, engage with it, and be present in it. #ICtweetable
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