I am headed off on a solo work trip to New Orleans, mostly work, mostly me being in meetings I need to be in, and being left on my own the rest of the time. Over the years I have done what feels like a million solo work trips. Trips where if I saw anyone outside of work, it was work related.
Sometimes it is pleasant, a decade or so ago I sat at the Bar at K-Pauls and watched the bartenders while enjoying blackened fish and grits. But just as often it is grabbing something quick, and hoping there are work emails to occupy me while I wait.
The last time I was in New Orleans I decided ahead of time there were places I wanted to eat, that I didn't really want to do alone. I invited people I know to join me for dinner at a couple of favorites. It was fun, it was social. It took some work, and things take strange curves. One of the duos, ended up being a table full as the person I invited - added three others to the table.
Being social takes breaking the barrier and inviting others. Not something that comes naturally to some of us. It is easy for me to say that others don't invite me, but then maybe they have the same resistance to asking that I often do.
On the trip to Arizona, I set up meetings with four people, two wonderful bloggers, and two work related contacts. I reached out, sent the email and asked. The hardest part is planning ahead and asking. And the social interaction was fun and rewarding. It added a lot of joy to the work trip.
On that trip I did something else I seldom do, I accepted an invitation to dinner at the home of one of the hosts of the conference. The host was a legend in the field I work in, I had met him once before at airport. It was nice to meet people and have a nice conversation. Going to dinner in the home of a somewhat stranger was breaking down a major social barrier for me.
Be bold, be brave, be the first to ask, or say yes.
It can be hard to get the nuance right if you contact someone with the suggestion you could meet. You don't want to push someone to do something they don't want to do but nor make it sound like you feel obliged to ask and you are not that keen.ReplyDelete
I think too much trying to get it right, and as a result I don'tDelete
I’m often bold and brave. Sometimes I wish I went solo. But when it works it's so worth it.ReplyDelete
You seem to know a lot of peopleDelete
That was the one thing I missed when moving from New Hope. When in a bar or restaurant, people would always in engage in conversation. Met some interesting people over my years living there.ReplyDelete
Carlos and are quite different; I don't mind being alone and he loathes it. So, we do a mix of both.ReplyDelete
J will say he does not like people, but he is much more social than I am. He does not like silly people, loves intelligent peopleDelete
Great post! Sometimes I initiate social things, sometimes I don't. Depends on the person and how I'm feeling.ReplyDelete
If I ever make it to your corner of the world, I'll buy breakfastDelete
I find that I enjoy traveling alone as well as dining alone however I do know that in many cases it would be a lot more fun to have someone to share meals with.ReplyDelete
I have arrived in New Orleans, a million dollar view from my hotel roomDelete
good ideas all - especially in N.O.ReplyDelete