The art of having fun solo
By Morgan Hannah, Life & Style Editor
While riding the SkyTrain to Commercial Drive for a piña colada at The Reef, a favourite spot of mine, I noticed everyone around me was either grouped up or linked in. By that, I mean all eyes were glued to some sort of a screen. I myself am occasionally also guilty of this, and while this isn’t new behaviour for humanity, it really got me thinking: Are people nowadays so uncomfortable with the idea of interaction that we must cling to our distractions of choice? I figure this disconnected behaviour was developed out of a fear of looking unintelligent. But really, is it necessary? What is so wrong with going out unequipped? It certainly doesn’t make you look unintelligent; if anything, you’d be regarded as observant, inviting, and as if you’re enjoying each moment.
Let’s go back to The Reef—during the summer months, I’m quite the local. I like the decor, the delicious Jamaican-inspired menu, and of course those juicy, sweet piña coladas. But what I also like is the opportunity to take my time, enjoy my meal, and talk to the bartender—things I wouldn’t necessarily feel able to do if I had friends with me. I’ve given myself permission to be enough on my own because the truth is that being alone at times is inevitable. Finding comfort in being alone is important as it helps you find a sense of self.
How does one find comfort in being alone? Start with taking your time and listening to yourself. If there’s something you’ve been wanting to do, or somewhere you’ve been meaning to check out, but you feel like it would be weird without your friends, do it anyway. Pay no attention to the sense of weirdness; it will pass. Taking the train for your morning commute? Leave your phone in your bag and try striking up a conversation with the person sitting next to you, or sit back, relax, and look out the window. I can guarantee unplugging for a little while will help you feel a sense of calm. You might even meet someone you find interesting or see something you haven’t before.
When going out for the day solo, we lean into the possibility of learning more about ourselves as individuals, and we discover how to value our time and enjoy our own capacity to love ourselves when not influenced by others. By giving yourself permission to venture forth alone, you give yourself the opportunity to enjoy your own company.
Need further convincing? Having fun solo comes with benefits such as going where you want to when you want to. No one is around that you, being the thoughtful individual you are, would need to be conscious of. You are free to wander, think out loud, internalize, or—if you’re anything like me—sing loudly and take pictures of flowers for Instagram. Another benefit of having fun on your own is recharging. Spending quality time with yourself allows you to be who you are, rather than the subconsciously more impressive, more entertaining self that each of us applies when we have company.
Give the art of having fun solo a try. I guarantee you’ll learn something new, and while it may seem intimidating at first, the more you do it the more you’ll feel empowered and think, I just did something cool. All by myself. And I didn’t need anyone else around to have fun.