Business travel can feel like a nasty trick, almost as though you’ve been duped into working on holiday. For many entrepreneurs, business travel means travelling alone, and that can mean eating alone.
To some people this can seem a little lonely, as mealtimes are generally shared with loved ones, here are few tips to enjoying eating alone:
Work up an appetite: rather than channel-flipping in your hotel-room before ambling down to supper, take a dip in the hotel pool or take a run or a brisk walk. Your body will respond by secreting some endorphins, which will improve your mood.
Make it an occasion: take a shower (remember the water restrictions if you’re in Cape Town) and put on a fresh shirt rather than ordering room-service in saggy tracksuit-pants or worse, eating huddled over your laptop.
Create your own vibe: the soundtrack in the restaurant might not be to your liking, so having a playlist on headphones that has happy memories can be a real mood-enhancer. It also creates a barrier if you’d prefer strangers to not strike up a conversation, thinking that you’re desperately lonely.
Take your time: when not making leisurely conversation with friends, colleagues or family, you might be tempted to inhale a wrap and turn in for the night. Rather relax and take the time to savour every bit. If you’re on a budget, treat yourself to just one good glass of wine and relish it.
CTRL+ALT-DEL: don’t try to work while eating, but do keep a notepad and pen close at hand. You might find that the meal is a rare moment of freedom from having to listen to people or talk to them. That might just free up some space to solve that vexing problem with a supplier, client or member of your team. Jot it down before you forget it.
Consider exploring: if you have a little time and a sense of adventure, you can explore apps like www.voulezvousdiner.com or www.eatwith.com, where selected hosts offer dinner parties, cooking classes, tastings or food tours.
It’s not eating alone, but can be a good way to break out of your social circle and avoid the same Franchise Burger that you’ve eaten so many times before. You might discover a new favourite dish.