Out of town, and alone…

First off, this is both an introduction to myself, and a request for advice from all the dopers. Believe it or not I’ve been lurking for over a year now and this is my first post. So please be nice =)

Here it goes:

I work in Southern California, but my company recently sent me to Atlanta for six weeks to help out with the project. I’ve been here three weeks now and I haven’t done anything with my free time except sit in my hotel and play video games or watch TV. I really need help from you guys to get me out of this rut. I don’t want to go back home and have everyone ask me what I did to hear, “uh… I just stayed in my room”.

Anyways, I think you should know a little bit about me before you give any advice. I’m a white single male, almost 25 yrs old. I spend most of my free time playing online role playing games or hanging out with my friends. At work when I’m not too busy I like to surf the dope. In college I got a degree in computer science and want to have a career in video game development or 3D design. Right now I’m doing admin work for Nokia. It’s boring, but there’s really no stress involved and it pays the bills.

That’s just my nerdy side. For the most part I’m a shy person who keeps to himself. I can be outgoing as well. I enjoy going out and partying much more than getting my half-elf wizard to level 99. I enjoy playing sports, basketball, football, and ping-pong (if that’s a sport). I love going to parties, meeting other people and making new friends. I’ll start out really shy but with a couple of beers in me I’ll actually get the nerve to start talking. This may not always be a good thing (depending on HOW many beers I’ve had), but I usually have fun no matter what happens. I also enjoy going to clubs and dancing, and sometimes I enjoy going to bars. The problem with going to bars is that I still have random people come up to me who are convinced that I’m not 21 yet even though I have been for over four years! It gets old fast, but I guess having a baby face will be good for me in the long run.

So you’re thinking, for a guy who “loves” to go out, why is he in his room all day? Well here’s the problem. I’m really shy and I’ve never been out alone. “Why not go out with your coworkers”? Well, most of them are 40 + and married. The guy closest to my age, prob 28, 29, is married with 2 kids. I did actually go to a bar with most of my coworkers last week. Having to sit around while some 60 yr old dude brags about how his kid is making 200K + a year isn’t my idea of fun. For the most part, whatever I’m going to be doing for the next 3 weeks, I’ll be doing alone. This is where I need help.

I guess what I want to do breaks down into two parts. First, I need advice on how to go out at night by myself (and possibly have fun). This includes a bar or club or anything else I might not be aware of. I suppose my main goal is to meet a girl. I’m not the kind of guy who wants to have sex on the first night. That really isn’t even my goal. I think just finding a girl I’m interested in, and who likes me as well, makes me happy. It just puts a smile on my face (go figure). I just need to psych my self up enough to go out.

So for this part I need advice from dopers who have actually gone out alone. How did you convince yourself to do it? What did you do? How did it go? Please don’t leave anything out. I need success stories here! This especially helps if you’re similar to me. If you were the captain of the football team who dated the prom queen, your advice probably won’t be very useful. Also, not to be blunt, I appreciate the “Just do it”, but it helps if you’ve “done it” and can give me some perspective.

Second, I need advice on what sites to see while I’m in Atlanta. What can I do in Atlanta that I can’t do in So Cal? I’m really open to anything. Everyone has told me to go see the Coke Factory or the CNN Building for some reason, and I don’t think I’d want to do that. My friend suggested that I see if any cool bands were touring at this time. If you know of any please let me know. Just to give you an idea of what I like, my favorite bands are R.E.M. and The Smiths. Lately I’ve been listening to Modest Mouse, Superchunk, Galaxie 500, and a crap load of other indie rock bands. Again, please suggest anything that you’ve enjoyed doing while you were in Atlanta.

Agh, I guess all of that was really long. Thanks for being patient and reading the whole thing. I know my grammar is awful, and I doubt it will improve much in the future. It’s just not my thing. Anyways I’m looking forward to any advice you guys have and I’m open for any questions you might have about me.

Travelling alone has its advantages…you don’t have to worry about someone tagging along, or when you want to go back to the hotel room, you don’t have to argue with someone about staying a little longer.

I have never been to Atlanta, and I am sure some Georgia Doper will be better able to be specific, but a generic bit of advice:

Ask the hotel desk clerk where are some fun cafe/bars - every town has a section/part of town where there are quite a few in a group. University areas seem to be a good bet. You could also Google “free weekly paper Atlanta” or the ilk and get a listing of what is going on. Then go to one of the cafes, take a book and sort of get the lay of the land. Then ask the waiter/waitress (someone in your age group) where are some good places to go and what days to go, what time of day to go, etc.

This system works if you are in Atlanta, Paris, Berlin, LA or pretty much any cosmopolitan urban area.

Biggest rule: Get your ass out of the hotel room! Fate will guide you from there.

Speaking as a female: It sounds like your main goal is to meet “girls.” Forget about it. We are wary of guys who are guys who are on business trips for a few weeks. It would be better for you to just find something to do that you would enjoy, either alone or not. If you meet someone who wants to chat with you while you’re doing whatever-it-is, then fine. But you have to be somewhere you’ll like even if you’re alone.

I’m not familiar with Atlanta, so I’ll let other people answer that part of the question.

But I have travelled, and I know what you mean about hanging around in the hotel. You have to get out of there, even if it’s only to go out to eat, or to a movie. It sounds like you’re not a museum person, but in case you ARE, that’s always a good way to spend your time.

There have been a few times when I forced myself to go out alone, and I was really nervous, but each and every time it turned out to be really fun! And each time it was easier. For example, a band I really wanted to see was playing at the club near my house, but no one was available to go with me, so I went. At first I was nervous, kept looking around to see if there was anyone else by themselves, so I just hung out by the bar and had a few drinks. Then I started enjoying the music and I was having a good time. Eventually I sparked up a few conversations with people at the bar near me and hanging out with a cute guy for the rest of the night. It turned out to be a really good time.

Another time, I was out of town for a conference, I went out alone, exploring the town, and settled into a bar that had a really good band playing. And I saw this really cute guy walk past the window…and to make a long story short, by the end of the evening, him and I were busy making out! After a few drinks, I was more outgoing, and somehow I started up a conversation with him, and the rest was history.

A more recent story, last weekend I went to a music festival and lost my companion, so I was wandering alone by myself, and ended up in a tent with a DJ just standing alone, watching people dance. I noticed a guy beside me who was alone also, so I started a conversation with him…we started dancing, then by the end of the night, we were making out in the field! heheheh it was fun!

So the key things are, get a few drinks to losen you up, and don’t be afraid to spark up a conversation with someone. You’ll never see them again, so what do you have to lose? GOOD LUCK and be sure to tell us how it goes.

It’s been about 10 years or so, but the last time I was in Atlanta, my friends and I wound up spending most of our time barhopping through the Atlanta Underground.

No clue if that’s still a fun scene, but it certainly was back then. Good luck, and enjoy!

I travel a lot and I’m single. When I first started travelling I found myself in my room a lot, and I didn’t like it. The first thing I did was to go to movies. It felt awkward the first time I went alone, but only the first time. I now see more movies than anyone I know.

I agree with a poster above that if you are trying to meet women, you probably won’t have any luck, especially when they find out you’re just visiting. Do something you enjoy, and you’ll eventually meet people just by accident. If I am going to be gone for more than one day, I’ll bring my golf clubs and go to a course and hit balls on the range, then have a beer in the clubhouse. I’ve met people this way and have ended up going out with them to dinner or a bar.

The hotel bar is also a good place to meet people. Most of the people there are travelling, too, so you have something in common. They’re also just as bored as you and in most cases would love to do something better than drink expensive drinks and go back to their room. If you are looking to hook up with a woman, the bar is the most likely place for that to begin. When you’re lonely and far from home…it happens.

Ok, first Atlantan to check in…first question, where are you staying? There’s tons to do and see, great funky, fun bars and restaurants. I may be able to help you out here.

Hmm, another Atlantan checking in. But since I’m a 51 year old married woman who doesn’t get out much, I’m not sure I can be much help.

But I can tell you where/when the hot knitters and handspinners get together!

Welcome to the city!

There’s a club in Atlanta called The Earl that’s down around… wait, no, it’s not there, it’s over by the old…

OK, I’m not sure where it is (that site has a map and directions), but it’s a fun place with a crowd ranging from about-your-age to about-my-age (32). There’s live music in back, and from the bands you mention I think the music would fit your tastes.

For something outdoorsy to try on the weekend, you could pack a lunch and climb Stone Mountain. It’s not a “climb,” or even really a “hike”; it’s just a nice walk that ends with a great view of the surrounding counties. Come to think of it, it’s probably a bit warm for that lately, but if the weather’s nice you could check it out.

As for meeting girls, I wouldn’t even worry about it on a short business trip. Just go do stuff. And take your camera.

Thanks for all the replies.

I think I wanted to go out and see the Atlanta nightlife just to make sure I still had a pulse. But I guess that’s not a very good idea in my current situation. Going hiking seems like a lot of fun. I haven’t done that in a few years. Also I’m very interested in going river rafting if there’s something like that around here. I’ll try to google it but let me know if there’s a great spot around here. Also I’ll see if I can find somewhere to play some B-Ball. I’m sure there’s a local park or high school around here where I can find a game.

Earthpuppy, I don’t know what part of Atlanta I’m in is called, but I’m very close to where the 285 meets the 400 (if that helps).

“The Earl” seems like a cool place just to hang out. I’ll prob go check it out soon. It’s only about 18 miles from where I’m staying.

Well thanks again for the advice. Hopefully I’ll find something exciting to do by this weekend. Wish me luck!

Sounds like you are located near Perimeter Mall on Ashford/Dunwoody. If you are looking for a nearby park take Ashford/Dunwoody inside 285 for about 3 miles. you will find a large park on your left. I am sure there are basketbal courts there.

Get yourself a copy of Creative Loafing, or go online a look at one. It is loaded with stuff to do in Atlanta.

I go out by myself all the time. Most of my friends are married and do not really like my music tastes. There is nothing to going out, just talk to everyone you meet and you will end up having a good time.

Craigslist could be your friend. There are a couple of sections there where people post seeking the same thing you are looking for.Check it out.By the way it is free to post yourself.