Borough Market in London
London was my first solo trip. Honestly, I was really scared. I didn’t know what to expect. I had no problem checking into my hostel, navigating the tube, and meeting new people. Everyone also spoke English, so no new languages needed. Plus, I live in NYC. No subway is too difficult to navigate.
What truly terrified me was…EATING ALONE. This sounds so simple, but have you ever ate alone? This brings me back memories of changing schools in 5th grade and having to sit at the lunch table by myself because no one knew who I was and no one wanted to be my friend, because at 9 years old, I was still rocking pink Sailor Moon one-pieces. I am serious.
One of the first things I learned was that if you do eat a restaurant, pick a seat by the window, so you can people watch. Or sit along the wall edges, for some reason, it feels less lonely that way with a wall as your companion, as depressing as that sounds. I also found that eating at cafes and open markets was probably the best bet as there are many single tables or single seats available.
I explored Borough Market on my own because I love Harry Potter and realized Diagon Alley was based on Borough Market. It was so fun and there were so many people that it didn’t feel lonely. Plus, you can sample the food and eat as you go, so it avoids the whole situation of sitting by yourself and eating, while other people stare at you and wonder if anyone is using that other chair.
After traveling for a bit by myself and then meeting up with friends in Amsterdam, I eventually overcame this fear, but not without constantly reminding myself that it is just eating and who the fuck cares what other people think.