Why write a Fiery guide to doing things alone in a city?
I am by nature a very social person, but also fiercely independent and stubborn. In my teenage years, I learned that I could not depend on others to go to the gym. It helped me to establish my own gym routine. In my early twenties, I started dance classes by myself, and I was super intimidated before I started. However, being alone created the opportunity to meet one of my best friends, for which I am super grateful. Doing things alone has great power but takes some getting used to as well.
Being honest, this is not something I have mastered 100% yet. But life is not about being perfect to me, but more about learning (this girl has learned her lesson haha). This guide comes from the lessons that I have learned so far, and the tips I can share from them. I would love everyone to experience the same #fiery freedom and empowerment as I have done so far!
Read on for the Fiery guide to doing things alone in a city!
Personal experience learning to do things alone
For me, the switch to doing more things alone really started last year. Going through depression made me very unsocial. Overwhelmed by too many feelings or none at all, I preferred my own company. And when I did have the energy to do things again, I forgot that people might see I was alone or that I felt self-conscious doing so. It was one of the most freeing things I have learned! By going out by myself, I have met the most amazing people, been able to connect with friends much deeper (Tokyo!) and found gems of places in Rotterdam (Green Delight!). Does this mean I never feel awkward? Nope, I am often still awkward and a little self-conscious when doing things alone. But I am choosing to see it as practice – the more often I do it, the more I will become accustomed to it and care less.
What are the benefits of doing things alone in a city?
You get to do whatever you want
What is the last time you truly did what you really wanted? Not considered the needs of anyone else? Perhaps you’re unsure of what you really enjoy? This is a such a great opportunity to find out. Going on vacation alone taught me that there was a lot of enjoyment and freedom in this. Experimenting with this alone allows you to test whether you like something, without the preferences or judgment of others to influence your feelings.
My best memory of this was when I was in Osaka last year. I had spent an evening getting street food and was considering what to do next. I really wanted to get some McDonald’s, get some cute toys and watch Ru Paul’s Drag Race. But I felt guilty, being on holiday and not exploring the city. In the end, I followed my feelings and did what I wanted. I felt such pure joy while listening to my audiobook on the way back to my Airbnb. It was so simple, but because it was exactly what I wanted and needed at that moment, it was a moment of perfection.
It helped me to become more confident and get over some social anxiety.
When you’re alone you have to go a little out of your comfort zone sometimes. This is uncomfortable at first, but when you do go outside of your comfort zone, you will notice nothing bad happens. Doing this often enough in social settings has made me more confident and also taught me to talk to people easier when alone. When you’re with other people, you tend to connect less with people you do not know. When you’re alone, you may as well strike up a conversation with the person next to you right?
It allows for introspection
For most of us, days are always packed and rush by so quickly. We listen to music, rush to work and then rush back home. Distracted by apps, social media, and work all day, we rarely get the chance to appreciate quiet time and listen to our inner thoughts. However, for many people, space and quiet are also what we need to reflect on our feelings. When we are not distracted it allows for thoughts and feelings to flow more easily and may bring insights or conclusions we previously did not have. Doing things alone allows for a moment of introspection, especially for us extroverts.
I know it sounds scary, but it’s actually glorious. Give it a try.
It’s a great option when you want to do something – but no one can join, or aren’t in a social mood.
It’s a nice Sunday afternoon, and you feel like doing something. But all your friends are already busy and are not able to join. Have there been times that you stayed home, even though you wanted to see that new exhibition, or go to the park? Or perhaps been in the situation where you feel like going outside, but do not feel like socializing?
Learning how to do things alone will give you freedom in these situations. There is no need to miss out on something you would like to do, because you may have to do it alone. On the other hand, sometimes we may not feel like socializing, but do want to head outside, it is nice to be comfortable doing it alone. My favorite in these situations is to go to a museum, for lunch with a good book, or a matinee movie.
I have learned to enjoy my own company
It sounds like a cliché, but it is true! I have also learned to enjoy things more by doing them alone. Visiting a museum? I now prefer to see exhibitions I am enthusiastic about by myself first. With friends I know I will concentrate less on the art and spend more time worrying they aren’t bored. By myself, I spend more time reflecting on the art and what I like (see point re: introspection) and have found I generally have a good time.
I hope you have enjoyed the first part of the Fiery guide to doing things alone. Part 2 will discuss the different activities you can try in a city, from low to high barrier, and some Fiery tips to convince you if you aren’t yet 😉.
More Fiery Living blog posts can be found under the Lifestyle category.