Thursday, May 26th, 2016

The Secret to Solo Female Travel Confidence: Drink Champagne

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Kate with Cava in Spain

The older I get, the more I realize that nobody has a clue what they’re doing. We’re all just winging it, hoping for the best.

And that goes for me with my solo travels. After nearly five years of constant travel, most of it solo, I’d like to think I’ve gotten a bit better at it. But while I have no problem going to the movies alone, or visiting a museum alone, I still feel a little bit of anxiety and nervousness when I go out to eat alone, or when I go somewhere when I’m surrounded by couples and groups.

It’s not that bad — no panic attacks or anything — I just feel a bit uncomfortable and like I don’t belong. I worry about how I look, how I act, and what other people are thinking about me. I micromanage every move I make, and I don’t like feeling this way.

Then I stumbled upon a stunningly simple answer to this problem: drink champagne.

It doesn’t have to be strictly champagne. Prosecco will do, as will any other sparkling wine. It’s about the image it conveys more than anything else.

Champagne immediately turns you into the most mysterious person in the room. Who is the kind of woman who goes and orders a glass of champagne for herself, on her own, assuming it’s not a wedding or New Year’s? A confident woman. A chic woman. A woman who enjoys the finer things in life. A woman who deems any day a reason to celebrate.

And champagne helps me believe that I am this woman.

I first noticed it in Barcelona a few weeks ago. It was late in the afternoon in Gracia. Sunlight was falling across the plaza, couples and families strolled down the streets together, children kicked footballs around, and I was exhausted from a day of walking all over the city.

So I sat down at an outdoor cafe and ordered a glass of cava.

And something magical happened.

I expected to do my usual thing: turn on my Kindle and read, or maybe ask for the wifi password and catch up on Snapchat. But instead, I didn’t want to do either of these things: I was here in the moment to enjoy.

I sat up a bit straighter. I may not speak this language, but I belong here in this city.

And so I did it again.

Kate with Cava in Barcelona

It was all cava, all the time, for the rest of my time in Barcelona. I paired this one with a tortilla española — the perfect late afternoon snack.

I think the cat’s eye sunglasses (Elizabeth and James in Lafaytette) and red lips (Kat von D in Bachelorette) added to the glamour factor!

Kate with Prosecco in Santorini

In Santorini, not only was I surrounded by loved-up couples, but all the couples started to befriend each other. It made me feel a bit left out as they traded their life stories. No worries — I had champagne to drink, and it gave me a smile along with an extra boost of confidence.

(Until the children arrived and started cannonballing right behind me. Seriously, you’d think having the word “bar” in your establishment’s name would keep the families away…)

Kate with Prosecco in Saranda

In Saranda, Albania, I had my first meal by the water and accidentally ordered too much food: the country salad (Albania’s answer to the Greek salad) was enormous; the shellfish platter featured enough plump mussels, octopus, squid, and shrimp to feed a small army.

Normally that would make me feel a bit embarrassed or sheepish, but having the glass of champagne sent a message: “Don’t mind me. I know exactly what I’m doing.”

Kate with Prosecco in Tirana

And by the time I got to Tirana, Albania’s capital, I knew exactly what to order as I took in the sunset from the top of the Sky Tower. And at just $3 for a glass, you can’t argue with that price!

Yep — I’m a champagne drinker now. And this random little solo travel tip has given me more confidence than I could imagine.The Key to Solo Female Travel Confidence: Champagne

Are you a champagne drinker? How do you feel more confident when you’re alone?

Comments

93 Responses to “The Secret to Solo Female Travel Confidence: Drink Champagne”
  1. Love champagne and love this tip! The only problem with drinking it *all* of the time in Barcelona is that you missed out on some really incredible Spanish wine. 😉

  2. Katie says:

    I love this so much. I’m usually a red wine drinker, but seeing as how champagne is usually more of a social, celebratory drink, I love your take on drinking it alone. Next time I find myself solo in a bar, I’m taking you up on this 🙂

    • Aladdin says:

      this post is amazing share and i love this too ,and let me thank you for your comment i loved it when you say I’m taking you up on this 🙂

  3. Kelly says:

    Sounds like the perfect solution! I was recently traveling alone in Germany, and when I was in Munich I desperately wanted to visit the Hofbrauhaus there but I was SO nervous about how I was going to go about finding a place to sit, since it’s all giant tables where everyone sits together in typical beer hall/garden style. Well, I sucked it up and ordered a giant mug of beer, and while I definitely got some weird looks, I think most people were just intrigued. Beer is definitely less chic than champagne, but I think just having the confidence to drink alone in general gives off a mysterious vibe.

  4. Lisa says:

    Great idea, Kate! I’ll have to remember that next time I am doing a solo trip.

  5. Clare says:

    I’m all about glasses of the local bubbly wherever I go. But what a fab tip for going solo and ensuring you look like an international woman of mystery! And confession: I know I’m a mother now, but the word “bar” in a name wouldn’t keep me away. I deserve the odd glass of champagne now more than I ever did! 😉

  6. Lauren says:

    I know exactly how you feel! After having cava in Barcelona on a random midweek afternoon, I realized champagne is really a drink for all occasions as it helps make everyday moments feel special. I love your photos, you radiate confidence and happiness!

  7. You are a genius! You’re definitely right, even when I am in my home city and I have a glass I immediately feel more posh. I will have to keep this tip in mind. And I am super glad you’ve mentioned that we’re all winging it. Sometimes I think I’m the only one. Ha!

  8. I love this confidence fix! I usually gravitate to wine when I’m by myself – I guess when I think of champagne, I think of clinking glasses to celebrate something with others. But why not enjoy it solo?! And I’m relieved to hear that even a very experienced solo traveler feels a little awkward at times eating/drinking alone. I haven’t done a proper solo trip, but just in the everyday when I find myself at a bar alone, I struggle not to feel awkward at times. Glad to know it’s a process, and to order champagne next time 🙂

  9. Hahaha, love this! You are my kinda girl. Women should never be nervous about drinking alone in public, but it does take a confident woman to do it.

    You’ve made me crave a glass of fizz on a nice outdoor patio. Will probably go home from the office and drink a bottle of Magners on my bedroom floor haha!

  10. Emily says:

    Wonderful to have another reason to always order bubbles.
    Cheers!

  11. Melanie H says:

    I love this tip. I’ve definitely used it (but with beer) when traveling solo and it’s crazy what a difference it makes.

  12. Cayce says:

    Haha, what a fun trip! Will give it a sip next time 😉

  13. Nice, I feel weird too sometimes when I go eat alone, but that’s okay, nothing wrong with that! But regarding Spain, I would rather recommend you the Sangria or Mojito, especially outside Barcelona in the smaller cities, it is so damn good and cleap BTW! 😀

  14. Great tip! I’m usualy doing this too lately.
    I’m also the kind of girl don’t mind at all going alone into the cinema or having a solo dinner. Actually enjoy it most of the times. The only part I could disagree is I drink champaigne cause I love it! Don’t care about the image projecting while drinking it even if it really looks cool and chic 😉

    Keep having happy travels!

  15. Kyra says:

    Absolutely love this! I went to Santorini with a friend and still felt out of place a bit with all the couples 🙂

    Love this tip!

  16. For all the amazing encounters I’ve had traveling solo there are always those awkward moments and days when you just don’t find anyone you gel with. I usually use those days for writing in my journal, reading in outdoor cafes with a nice meal and good drinks or finding a local salon to get my nails done. It’s a good way to treat myself when I’m feeling a little self conscious.

  17. Linda says:

    I love this idea! Will definitely adopt it on my next solo trip! 🙂

  18. Megan says:

    Holy crap that’s a deceptively simple idea with such a big payoff! I’m off to Europe (Italy, Slovenia, Croatia) and will be by myself for a chunk of it. Totally using this tip to see if it makes enjoying all of those lovely outdoor spots solo a little less awkward 😉

  19. Monika says:

    I remember my trip to Paris where I sat in the cafe, sipping my Champagne cocktail in the sun and watched the world go by while waiting for my French lover. This is something to keep with you forever and smile when you’re old and less able to travel. I drink very very rarely bit this sure is a good tip.

  20. Rachel says:

    Wow, this really is genius. You are so right – confident and chic is exactly what I would think of a woman alone in public with champagne. The red lips don’t hurt either. Definitely doing it.

  21. Wonderful post! Anything we can do to make feel more comfortable, confident and empowered is great! 🙂

  22. Aldora says:

    I think it is so empowering. Go do you, girl! 🙂

    Any tips for people who don’t drink alcohol? I *wish* I could drink champagne (and the like), but my body literally cannot process the alcohol. I got that “Asian glow” (or “Asian flush”) gene. Sometimes I feel lame about ordering a non-alcoholic drink when a place is known for their wine. In my case, health trumps everything else.

  23. This is the best thing I’ve read all day. You are a genius.

  24. There are so many people that would scorn at this saying you should be proud no matter what you drink… blah blah blah… I’m SO with you! A lot of the time there is a little something that just makes us feel a little better.

    I’ve just moved to London for a while and for me it’s the b**** face. When I’m travelling on the tube in the morning I try to look just as miserable as the other commuters even though inside I’m smiling because, well, I’m in London for 6 months – every travel blogger’s dream!

    Best wishes, Beanie x

    http://www.blogofbeanie.co.uk

  25. Jozep says:

    Wow your blog is a true inspiration I think it is everyone’s dream to leave the everyday life behind and travel the world. My only question would be: How do you afford it?

  26. Laura says:

    Kate…you are totally my hero. I love me some champagne and next time I’m out by myself, I know exactly what I’m getting.

  27. Michelle says:

    I thought it was just me! I love traveling solo but sometimes you DO feel a bit uncomfortable. I also drink champagne. Try adding strawberries or orange slices. It sweetens it up a bit.

  28. Nicky says:

    Hey Kate, am really enjoying reading about your adventures. I actually would like a bit of advice. My friend and I have recently started a blog (the polar opposite of yours – traveling and dining out with kids in tow- lol). I notice you put up snippets of your blog on your FB page, so it draws you in to read them, and then you can click to read the rest on your blog. Sooooo, my question is – ummm, how exactly do you do that??? (Sorry, on a steep learning curve here!!) Cheers Nicky PS. Champagne all the way – love it!

  29. This is a great little tip! When I travel solo I never feel uncomfortable until I go to that crowded restaurant for dinner and everyone is in groups or couples. Ordering a glass of sparkles is a great idea to overcome this. You’re right- it does make you look like that mysterious, confident women! Genius.

  30. Meggie Kay says:

    I love this idea! I remember feeling really chic when I went to a club while living in Germany and the handed out free champagne if you arrived early. I can see how drinking champagne could have this effect.

  31. Awesome post! I’m normally a beer drinker but there is definitely something classy and mysterious about a glass of bubbly! I’m going to try this next time I’m out alone! 🙂

  32. Lena says:

    ohhh champagne! yes please ) It does make you more relaxed and confident at all the Hollywood after party shenanigans .. ))

    “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, champagne in one hand, strawberries in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and screaming…woo hoo, what a ride!” – Kate Langdon

  33. Nicole says:

    This is so true!
    I’ve traveled quite a bit of the world solo. Not many things make me feel nervous or awkward to do alone, except for eating a restaurant alone, even though I have done it plenty of times. However, I was in South Africa alone last year and on my birthday I went to Boulder’s Beach to see the penguins and I took myself to a nice lunch. Drinking champagne with my meal made me not feel so weird!

  34. Priya says:

    OK, need me some champagne now.

  35. hahahah this is such a great post. i love it and couldn’t agree more!! ” and then something magical happened” lol. nothing like a little champagne for a boost of confidence!

  36. Sara says:

    Oh so true! I’m more than twice your age and actually hadn’t thought about looking mysterious and so forth, but I know it’s the BEST way to finish a day of solo travel.

    In Alsace it’s cremant – Italy, prosecco, Spain, cava – not expensive, and in any language a satisfying and self-pleasing treat. Loved this post!

  37. Samantha says:

    Hi Kate, loved your post. I travel a lot and sometimes I am by myself. I will have to try that sometime and see how it works out Worse case, I have a good glass of the bubbly 🙂 Enjoy

  38. Anand BV says:

    Why should gals have all the fun? Enjoy

  39. Mandi says:

    Haha, love this piece! I can totally relate with going out to dinner alone and such while traveling solo. I think I may have to start ordering champagne for now on.

  40. Andrew says:

    oooh but champagne goes straight to my head!

  41. Flora Baker says:

    This is both hilarious and wonderful 🙂

  42. Bar says:

    Sure! Smoking helps too
    It’s a good one!

    http://www.bartimor.com

  43. Oh absolutely! I drink champs all the time. Add the pout and huge sunglasses and you could be anybody. I get mistaken for a “someone” all the time and I go to a lot of lifestyle events being that I live in Berlin LOL! It always adds a hint of sophistication, glamour and mystery!

    ‘Loving the post my dear. 🙂

  44. Swati Saroha says:

    Nice idea kate. I will try this in my next trip. and share my views with you about being a solo traveler.

  45. Zascha says:

    Champagne or white wine is always the solution – that’s one thing I’ve learned over the years! 😀

  46. Tamara says:

    Hello, l cant wait for a post from Montenegro – Kotor.
    Hope that you enjoy.

  47. Anna says:

    This really is such a great advice. I just got back from Bologna (which sadly I didn’t love), and I felt very alone there; I think this G-D Euro heat wave sucked all the life out of people. So I’d just put on a cute dress and shades and go sip a drink somewhere glamorously. And pretend to have a glamorous, mysterious life 🙂

  48. Karen says:

    When we travel without our kids, we seek out adult only type places. When we are with our kids, I can assure you as a mom of three kids two of which are teens, champagne or wine is the answer to much! 🙂

  49. Never been to a restaurant alone and have always hated the idea, but there is the odd moment when someone is late or I’m too early and I end up having to sit in a bar and wait, so will definitely be trying this next time! Thanks for the great tip and I love your blog 🙂

    • Thanks, Gina. Have fun!

      Also: please don’t link to your blog in the comments. That’s against the comment policy. Further posts with your blog linked in the comments will be deleted.

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