Meeting People and Loneliness
It has been more than a month since I landed in Maine at Portland International Jetport as I stare at the gloomy weather outside. Maine has a reputation of changing weather sporadically with it being sunny one day and rainy the next. Last night, I was talking to my parents when a cold front had started creeping in at 10PM. Then, it just came down like a monsoon peppering the street with endless droplets.
Moving to a new place can be both scary and awe-inspiring at the same time, however, it can also be incredibly lonely. One of the things about solo-traveling I learnt is that you need to be at peace with yourself and the world otherwise the mental struggles are real. Apparently, loneliness is a thing among digital nomads and solo travelers once they visit or start living in a new place. Pre-COVID, it was much easier to meet new people since we did not have to worry about a sickness or pandemic. Now, it is harder to do so but there are ways since things at least here in the United States are opening back up.
I encourage anyone moving or visiting a new place for an extended period of time to meet new people. There is usually a grace period of a month or two where you get used to your new routine and surroundings. Also, the paperwork with moving to a new place is incredibly irritating from what I have found with the DMV and City Hall. After you become more confident, you start looking for ways to meet new people either through volunteering or websites like Meetup. Besides, one is never truly alone in such a globalized world. You would be surprised at what randomly talking to a stranger can do for you, especially if you are waiting for takeout at a local restaurant.
The Banded Brewing Company
This brewery, located in Biddeford, was where I met up with some locals from the nearby area through Meetup. It was a strange thing on a Saturday night to just go into my car and drive to a new brewery unexpectedly. The anxiety was real as my heart pounded viciously in my ribcage. As an extroverted introvert, I enjoy the presence of others yet at the same time I value my own time highly. However, once I started talking and opening up, the anxiety melted away since these strangers were very warm and receptive.
The Banded Brewing Company was Maine’s first brewery that was built in Biddeford as their flagship location. They have another location in Portland; however, I only went to the Biddeford one due to its close proximity. The staff had close to 12-15 types of beer ranging from dark beers to ciders that were great to try. I was a little on the fence about their food, but their fried chicken sandwich quickly won me over. Overall, the atmosphere was great with people cheering merrily in the background. Check out the menu and their website at https://bandedbrewing.com/biddeford/!
The Great Lost Bear
Located in Portland, this is another iconic brewery and restaurant that has been open since 1979. The mascot of the location is as the name implies a great black, grizzly bear of sorts? My co-worker that took me here for lunch and drinks mentioned that she used to work at The Great Lost Bear back in the day with the place staying the same throughout the years. The menu, however, had evolved but still remained thematic with certain dishes and drinks.
There is a wall-mounted taxidermy bear head in one corner of the establishment. In addition, there are colorful posters, signs, maps, and random objects sprawled on every square inch of the walls. Even the bathroom stalls had decorations on each brick of the wall which surprised me. I will not deny that the menu was overwhelming in the sense where there were a lot of food options to choose from. I ended up getting the Sweet Thai Chicken Sandwich with potato fries on the side which was extremely filling. It was highly popular and I would recommend checking out the venue as well as menu at http://www.greatlostbear.com/.