When my husband travels for work he usually travels to big cities where the company have other offices. London, New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Sydney and Singapore are regular features on his yearly calendar. If he is going for more than 3 days I like to go with him - especially as I've I've lived there and still have friends....
Its a great opportunity to have a short break, you can visit interesting places that maybe you wouldn't go on holiday (Seoul, South Korea was never on my travel list but it was a great city for 3 days) you don't have to make the bed, or cook dinner - whats not to like?. You can see an exhibition of Wedding Dresses at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London or spend hours people watching in Central Park New York without anyone moaning about it.
As I've said before, I really enjoy traveling and I am quite a happy solo tourist, also, I think it adds some interest for him, especially on the evenings he doesn't have client dinners or meetings. And really, my alternative is being home alone, which has often been in a place where I don't have a social network of friends to hook up with.....
I do still spend quite a bit of time alone On the evenings he has work dinners I have to entertain myself. My choice is either room service, a fast food stop or a solo dinner.
I learnt at an early age when I travelled for work if I didn't get over the 'I don't want to go to a restaurant alone' thing then I had a life of bad room service and take away food to look forward to. I usually have a queue of books on my iPad waiting to be read, so I take this with me, in case there aren't any interesting people to watch! I find most restaurants are used to solo diners, sometimes you get hidden away in the corner, but I usually ask for a table where I can see some activity. I usually make a point of telling the waiter that's I don't want to be rushed (as is often the tendency when you are alone). I want to enjoy my meal as I would if I was with company.... And it's never a problem.
The one thing it is important to remember, especially if you are in a new city, is to restrict how much wine you drink. The only person getting you back to the hotel is you, and sadly it doesn't matter where you are in the world or how safe the city is, there is alway a risk attached to being tipsy and alone in the evening.
Also be prepared to be able to politely decline any unwanted attention.
A short 'that's very flattering but I'm joining my husband and his colleagues after dinner' will usually do the trick. Especially as most guys have fragile egos and won't want to be rejected twice !
If any situation gets out of hand the restaurant will usually help out and call you a cab so you don't have to resort to climbing out of a toilet window !!.
In over 20 years of dining alone I've never had any major problems or felt physically threatened, however it's just good sense to be aware that not everyone out there can be taken at face value. (Or maybe I watch too many American crime dramas!)
Solo dining also has many advantages, like with being a solo tourist, there is no compromise to be made. If you want to eat pizza you can, you don't have to consider that your husband/partner had pizza at his lunch meeting. You can be fabulously selfish !
Of course I would always rather have dinner with my husband, but Im certainly glad I took the step to eating out alone a long time ago. I have had some amazing food experiences, and sadly have forgotten most of the restaurants names. - why wasn't trip advisor around 20 years ago? Some fabulous restaurants have been reduced to descriptions like 'a tiny restaurant, next to a pub on a side street in Bantry Bay'... Which isn't very helpful to anyone going to Bantry Bay.... In fact even I would struggle to find many of the places myself... But that could also be age...
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