By: Adam Morrison
Moving to a new city brings knowledge by force.
Six months ago I packed a suitcase and boarded a plane from San Francisco to Washington D.C. I sold my car. I sold my furniture. I left my mom, my friends—everything that had been at my reach since I was eight years old, and headed East to launch a new office and live with a roommate I met on craigslist.
The beginning was a challenge. My biggest hurdle: dinner alone.
I grew up with meals being a form of care, affection, and laughter; what do you do when that changes overnight?
The transformation of dinner as a shared experience, into one of independence, has pushed me out of my comfort zone. It wasn’t easy, but the situation I once approached with hesitation is now something I enjoy.
I’ve done three things to help me embrace the experience. If you find yourself exploring a new city—whether it is for business, leisure, or relocation—try these tips:
- Order something you can’t pronounce. Point if you have to.
- Call the bartender by name and greet them with a smile. It’s the easiest way to make a new friend.
- Keep your eyes up, absorb your surroundings, and notice the details.
These three things helped me adapt. The single stool at the bar is now the place of preference—a place of solitude, where I can be alone with my thoughts. A great contrast to my workweek, mostly because I work in a small office.
The bar brings a new perspective on dining. My favorite view includes one of the kitchens. Boqueria and Estadio in Washington, D.C. are a couple of my favorite restaurants, and both have bars facing the prep line. To me, watching the cooks prepare plates is a peek behind the curtain. Each step looks easier than reality. Flames, ingredients, and seasoning act like a magic trick: Mixed together and a dish appears.
Moving to a new city is a blank page. We’re given the option of what to write. Those first three months, I spent more than I’d like to admit to dining out, mostly because of my inability to cook. Cooking classes, YouTube, hunger, and a few burns later this changed, but one thing remains—my love for exploring a menu.
Six months in, dinners are again a shared experience; my table is filled with new friends. Yet once a month, I find a new bar to sit at—something I once had to force myself to do. I venture to a new restaurant, order something I’ll probably pronounce incorrectly, and look for that familiar friend behind the bar.
What will your story be?
-Adam Morrison, Washington D.C. Sales Manager