I'll just go ahead and say it: people are often scared of doing things in public by themselves. Being seen without your squad opens you up to all sorts of assumptions — wow, they look lonely. Don't they have any friends? And it's true sometimes. Being alone with your thoughts can be a scary endeavour. Doing things alone without a friend or phone or anything to occupy your hands and time puts some in a state of panic.
But here's the secret: doing stuff solo is the damn best. No one to entertain, and nobody to care about but yourself can be deliciously freeing. People are also weirdly impressed if you tell them you love your own company. If the thought of having to ask for something "for one" still makes you feel uncomfortable, let's ease you into this in stages.
John Mills Architect
SEE A FILM BY YOURSELF
The thought of sitting in amongst all the couples, squads etc. in a movie theatre can just tip people over the brink of solitary awkwardness. But why? The room's dark, and dominated by a giant projected distraction. You can't talk to anyone around you — people will dislike you before you've even finished your sentence. Nabbing the best seat in the house is ten times easier when you're alone (because we all know people never bunch up and always leave that weird one-seat gap between themselves and the next posse). Get in there, stare straight ahead and try not to alert everyone to the crinkly chippie bag you snuck in in the waistband of your jeans. Too easy.
Power Living Yoga
EXERCISE BY YOURSELF
There's nothing like getting sweaty in a room full of strangers. Wellington has an abundance of awesome, under the radar fitness studios that are just perfect for turning up and getting those endorphins going in your own company. Power Living, Xtend Barre, Float Well and Thrive Pilates are all awesome options, or just go sweat it out at Les Mills. The best thing is, no one's watching you. Leave halfway through if you want.
DINE BY YOURSELF
Wellington is basically the best place to dine by yourself. Pick the right spot and half the people will be reading the paper anyway, or engrossed in the great food. I especially love Nikau for a bit of solo dining. Turn up, "table for one", take a seat and watch the world go by (or watch the world eat Kelda's doughnuts without losing the filling out the sides). Relish every bite of your meal, bring along your current book if you like, but don't even think about checking your Snapchat map to see if any friends are around to join you. And don't order your dessert to take away. You get the chance to get those 20 chews per mouthful everyone talks about, but never does.
TAKE A TRIP BY YOURSELF
Get on the bus and head out to Red Rocks or the coast for a bit of sea gazing alone time. Island, Princess, Owhiro or Houghton Bays are all awesome and, most importantly very accessible on Wellington public transport. There's nothing like filling your lungs with sea air, right? Get some fish 'n' chips and share them with the seagulls before bussing back home content in your alone-ness.
EAT ICE CREAM BY YOURSELF
Ice cream is a healing lifeblood sometimes. Wellington has no shortage of ace ice cream, gelato and sorbet options — whether they're churned inhouse, scooped into a waffle cone or served in a delightful glass dish with a long-handled spoon. Taking yourself out for ice cream is surprisingly satisfying, and no one knows that you ordered a second scoop. If you have to, get it to take away and take yourself for a walk, watching the jealous eyes of those who pass you on the pavement. Field & Green has the top housemade ice cream menu in the city if you ask me (more on that over the next little while), Nikau also churns their own, and for the classic two-flavour cup you can't go past Kaffe Eis.