It’s often said, “no man is an island” and whenever I hear it, I’m like: “duh!”. I know what an island is. They are little small humps of dirt with single palm trees on them, surrounded by water. They are only similar to men in the way that neither of them text me back. But after that the similarities are few.
However, I know what the spouters of this saying are getting at. It’s that no one is ever really and truly alone. And not in the way that like Big Brother, or a Victorian era ghost child is watching you. It’s just that there are people surrounding you. You’re a part of society.
But, as a person that loves to do things alone, and as a person in society that is sometimes expected to do things alone, it can be daunting. I relish my alone time and I think more people should too but sometimes when I am visiting a new place – be it for business or pleasure and I go catatonic. Where do I go? What do I do? Will people look at me strangely? Then without fail I end up in some sort of minimalist coffee shop having an existential crisis about my place in the world feeling homesick and alone.
BUT you don’t have to feel that here, dear reader. Saskatoon is a great place to travel alone. It’s a place where you can march to the beat of your own drum. A place to be untethered and unbothered.
So, here is a list of the top things to do if ever find yourself in the city of Saskatoon solo:
- Get Caffeinated! You know that coffee mug that says something like “Don’t talk to me before I’ve had my morning coffee”, well if you are spending you day alone you can upgrade this sentiment to include both “during” and “ any time after. Small places like Venn Coffee is the perfect place to stop in alone, enjoy some excellent bean juice while not feeling like a conspicuous loser for sitting alone.
- Take a Walk! If you’re retracing the steps that the great Joni Mitchell herself once took through the city, can you even consider yourself alone? The Joni Mitchell Promenade connects Broadway Avenue to Riversdale. Take the alone time to image winning a Grammy and writing music that one day Emma Thompson can cry to in a movie.
- Conquer Your Fear: One of the hardest tasks people face while being alone in public is eating alone. Which I get. It feels conspicuous - what do you look at? Where do you put your hands? In your mouth? The solution is picking the right spot. Somewhere bright and warm and full of things and experiences that cause thoughtful introspection. If you eat at Shift Restaurant in the Remai Modern, you could pass as an art aficionado, digesting not only the amazing food, but also the world class artwork. And no one will even notice you’re dining alone.
- Retail Therapy: You’re never alone if you have your wallet! No one keeps me company like my old friend Mastercard. Shopping gives me so much joy and shopping alone means I get to go at the exact pace I choose. If I want to meander – I can! If I want to jolt in and out and wave my arms about? I, well – technically I can but social norms sort of puts a kibosh on it. But I could if I really wanted to flout it. Why? Because I am alone! One place that never makes me feel alone is shopping at Charlow YXE. Not only do they carry mugs with my favourite four letters words, the whole shop is a glow in a pastel pink hue which calms me of my loneliness.
- Take in a Picture Show! A movie is a great way to enjoy your evening sans anyone else. Why do we go to movies with people in the first place? We just sit in the dark looking forward anyway. That and we are forced into slowing our popcorn consumption to a socially acceptable level. NO thanks! Go to the Roxy Theatre. Buy yourself a family sized popcorn and shovel it into your mouth before the previews have finished.
Photo courtesy of Tourism Saskatoon
So, there you have it! Five amazing locals spots to hit up, the next time you are #Saskatooning Solo.