Party of One
By Julie Reardon
If you’re single, either by choice or circumstance, then you’ve probably noticed that restaurants, vacation packages and outings seem to cater to and certainly advertise to appeal to couples and/or families, especially at this time of year. But not everyone is in a relationship with a significant other, and not everyone has a large, close extended family with someone readily available to dine and vacation with. Even with a large circle of friends, it’s not always easy to find someone, especially on short notice, to try a new restaurant or go on a vacation with or take on a spur of the moment day trip. And even those in relationships and enjoying close knit families sometimes might want to try something their partner/family is patently uninterested in.
Most things that couples and families enjoy, can also be enjoyed solo even if it does require more motivation to go out there and do it. Many people still harbor hesitation, for example, to dine alone at high end restaurants. They’re afraid of what others might think of them when they see a party of one at a table for two.
And what, pray tell, does going solo to a nice restaurant have to do with the rural Blue Ridge? Well, not much actually other than it’s not just dining alone in a big name city eatery that unnerves some. Many small town and rural dwellers share the same fears—that others will think they’re friendless or losers or worse. And that’s nonsense of course, but sometimes the drumbeats of doubt drown out common sense. Anonymity can sometimes help quell the doubts—after all, if you don’t see anyone you know, who cares? There are a vast array of varied dining establishments just a short drive west of town. If, as I do, you live in a small town where everyone knows your business and you’re almost certain to see someone you know, travel to a nearby town.
You can’t always find a like-minded friend for every festival, shop or event you might want to attend, especially if it’s an hour or more away. Don’t miss out, just go solo. Lack of a traveling companion frees you from worrying your friend won’t enjoy the outing and lets you make last minute changes or unplanned side forays.
Perhaps the best thing for solo travelers has been the proliferation of private rooms or houses for short term rentals online via booking services like Airbnb, VRBO and the like. Some of the best deals are for one or two people. Just in Fauquier or Western Loudoun, you can find pages and pages of accommodations that range from adorable vintage guest houses, modern apartments or in-law suites on farms, charming log cabins that were once summer kitchens, and more.
If you never have before, make 2022 the year for your Party of One!
SPRING RACE SCHEDULE 2022
Saturday, March 5 1:00 p.m.
RAPPAHANNOCK HUNT POINT-TO-POINT
13257 Durante’s Curve, Boston VA
Information (540) 222-9887
Saturday, March 12 1:00 pm
RAIN DATE FOR RAPPAHANNOCK POINT-TO-POINT
Woodley Farm, Berryville
Information (540) 837-2262 (h)
Saturday, March 19 12.30 p.m.
WARRENTON HUNT POINT-TO-POINT
Airlie Race Course, Warrenton
Information (540) 219-1400