The Benefits of Spending Time Alone

If you have been following me on Facebook this week, you will see that I have been exploring the city of Tokyo!

I think back to just a couple of years ago when I couldn’t bear the idea of eating lunch alone in a restaurant.  Now, I’m off all day exploring a foreign city on my own!  I’m not sure what I was afraid of before… Maybe I thought that people were looking at me or judging me?  I’m not sure… but I love the freedom of caring more about what *I* want and what *I* think than a random stranger that I’ll likely never see again.

On Monday, I joined a Nia class with the lovely Black Belt instructor Yuki Maezawa.  The biggest challenge was getting from my home base in central Tokyo to Suginami, which involved switching to a local train at Shibuya.  Shibuya is by far one of the most crowded busiest places that I have ever seen in my life!  It’s like the Times Square of Tokyo.  The crossing outside of the station, known as the Scramble Crossing, is known to be the busiest crossing in the WORLD!

Photo courtesy of theguardian

The Nia class was very enjoyable!  Everyone was very welcoming and spent the first minutes of class introducing themselves to me.  The class was taught in both Japanese and English, but with the familiar moves, it was almost like no words at all were necessary. It was a wonderful start to my week!

On Tuesday, I spent some time exploring an area of Omotesando/Aoyama that I hadn’t seen before.  I set off in search of Cafe Madu, which I’d learned of by reading a wonderful blog called The Expat Wife who has written wonderful reviews of area cafes & restaurants that I have found enormously helpful!  (Expat Wife… if you are reading this, perhaps we could meet for a tea sometime? 🙂  The setting and the food were very nice and afterwards I found two other places that I’d been searching for & unable to find before:  The Aveda Salon & Aveda Pure Cafe (I peeked inside, but since I had just eaten, I added it to my to-do list…) & Nicolai Bergmann, another cafe where I’d like to have an Afternoon Tea/Cake set, which is adjacent to Nicolai’s incredible flower shop.

nicolai bergmann omotesando aoyama flower shop tokyo

nicolai bergmann florist tokyo aoyama omotesando

Yesterday, I decided to head to Ginza – probably one of the most expensive shopping districts in the world – for lunch at the Gucci Cafe.  I’ve passed by this Gucci store several times on previous trips to Tokyo and always wanted to stop here for my afternoon cake set fix 🙂  When I learned that they served lunch, I was off!  The lunch set did not disappoint!  My waiter was super-friendly and spoke excellent English (a huge plus for a struggling tourist).  The food was incredible right down to the last drop of pistachio sauce along side my strawberry tart and fresh vanilla bean ice cream!

Gucci Cafe lunch set afternoon tea dessert cappuccino

All in all, it has been a pretty great week.  A few years ago, I would not have had any of these experiences because I would not have wanted to go off on my own & explore.  Now, I look at it as an adventure!

My words of self-care wisdom for the week?  Don’t let the idea of doing something alone paralyze you.  It can be scary and overwhelming at times, but don’t be afraid to spend a little quality time with yourself.  Life experiences are waiting for you!! 🙂