The Living Alone Diaries – Of late sunsets, cooking for one and discovering new places

A picture of flowers in a garden and a pair of shoes on the lower part
Hello New Chapter

A lot of things have changed for me in the last few days – living in a different country far away from loved ones, struggling to find a semblance of a routine and most importantly trying to wrap my head around the fact that it is still bright at 9 pm. Like I said, a lot has changed! Amidst all the chaos of living alone, I’m trying to find myself again. 

I still can’t believe that it has already been over a fortnight since I moved to Germany. It isn’t something new. I’ve done this before, in the exact same city but something about it all feels different. Maybe after over 2 years of always having people around me, living alone seems a little lonely. 

The last few days in Bangalore were stressful to say the least- so stressful that I couldn’t really do all the things that I wanted to before I left and I fell sick, that the meticulous packer in me with all the lists forgot a few things that were necessary. I knew feeling sad was a part of the deal because it is never easy to stay away from the ones you love, but I thought I’d be a little more excited of this new adventure. 

If I’d go by the little and not so little things that have happened over the last few days, I think I’d have a story for each day. Perhaps I should make a series of posts just for each day! If there is one thing that I’m really trying to get used to – it is the length of the day. The last time when I was here, I was annoyed with the fact that the sun set before I even got back home from work. But this time around I’m trying to make sense of the sun shining brightly as I type this at 9 pm.  I’m glad that I finally get to watch the sunset sky and most importantly I’ve learned to wake up at sunrise and go to sleep at sunset – because of which I now wake up at 5.30 am- often before my alarm goes off. 

Doesn’t this look like something out of a fairytale?

I’ve also started walking more than I used to and in the process discovered parts of this city that I never knew before. I’ve walked so much that my shoes that seemed quite sturdy have already worn out 🙁 If you’ve known for any length of time now, you must know that I absolutely adore nature and I can’t stop clicking a zillion pictures and I’ve been doing just that since I arrived here. I try to find a window seat on the side of the bus where I can see a sunflower field on the way to work and often when I am back I just loiter around the city finding new streets, new parks and gardens while also finding new ways to reach the riverside which was my favourite place to be the last time I was here. 

There have been challenges too- especially ones associated with cooking. Cooking for one is a struggle – especially at times when you don’t have the utensils and containers of choice and also when you cannot buy a few veggies in quantities that you like! I’m missing my all time best friend in the kitchen- my pressure cooker and I’m eagerly waiting to meet it again. Cooking has now turned into a creative exercise of trying to figure out how to use the same ingredients and make different dishes out of them without being bored and also ensuring that I have at least some kind of balanced diet. Any suggestions and recipes are most welcome! 

Dinner for one – a fancy little dinner that I cooked and enjoyed on the balcony

I’ve managed to have some adventures too. In these last few days, I’ve managed to go on a little trip, run to catch a train and stand on the train the entire length of the journey. That is a story for another day!

In the last fortnight or so, I’ve learned a little more about myself. This is my first time actually living alone- I’ve lived away from home before, but never truly alone- there was always someone around. But now here I am trying to search online for answers on how to do things(today’s was how to put the duvet inside the duvet cover easily after struggling for 15 minutes), trying to converse in the few German words that I know and trying to learn a little more each day. 

I haven’t written much here for a while now, but I thought write about the last few days would be a good place to start. There are a lot of struggles too with living alone so far away from home. But as I stare at the setting sun from my balcony as I write this, I’m awed at the beauty that surrounds me and I feel grateful for the present, for the opportunities and for new adventures. 

Hoping to write more often here. How have you been doing? What is something that you are looking forward to these days?

For more of these pictures, you can follow me on Instagram ReemaMichelle

17 responses to “The Living Alone Diaries – Of late sunsets, cooking for one and discovering new places”

  1. May you be blessed in the new chapter of your life.

    When I was 24 I moved from Cincinnati to Chicago. I had the choice to transfer to look for another job. I was so conflicted. How could I move over 300 miles away from everyone and everything I know?

    BUT GOD…..

    Until I finally said, “Okay, God I will give it a shot”, I was inundated with things about Chicago at every turn. TV shows, movies, and even the most casual of conversations somehow always ended up mentioning Chicago. Not to mention the migraine headaches that I was having on a daily basis.

    AND THEN…..

    That was almost 33 years ago and I’m still here!

    Had I not been obedient I never would have met my husband and my life would be completely different!!

    #MondayMusings 3

  2. Pratikshya says:

    It must be so difficult to live alone, away from people you know. But yes, once in a while, we have to make tough choices.. And I’m sure it would be so rewarding for you. May you discover more beautiful nooks and corners for reading ☺.. And travel.. And make good friends there too…

  3. Tulika says:

    Oh I had no idea you were in Germany. I get that living in a foreign country all on your own would be a trail but I have to admit the pictures look cheerful enough. I am glad you’re taking the trouble to cook for one and that meal looked ever so tempting. I hope you settle in soon and that we get to see more of you here.

    • Yes, the pretty nooks and corners are cheering me up. Cooking for one though difficult is a better option because eating out is quite expensive. And yes, I’m looking forward to be more regular with my posts here. Thanks for reading 🙂

  4. I was first struck by the beautiful pictures, Reema. I’m sure it’s not easy to live alone but I’m certain you’ll make the best of it.
    Looking forward to reading more of your writing.

  5. Sulekha says:

    Reema, congratulations on moving to Germany. Going to a new place and living alone are brave decisions that make life interesting and adventurous. The view from your balcony is beautiful and the dinner looks yummy :). I am glad you are enjoying nature, the pictures are great . Have fun and stay happy and healthy.

  6. Jayanthy G says:

    Living abroad and all by yourself is a big decision. The place is lovely and all your captured memories, remind me of my first visit to the UK to join my husband. I’ve not stayed alone out of the country, but I know how lonely it feels, my husband used to explain about it. The winter months are pretty bad, but glad you’re in good summer now. You’re keeping yourself busy and it’s nice to know that. Let this bring more of your writing into this space. Wishing you happy times ahead, Reema.

  7. Natasha says:

    It’s always a pleasure to read your posts and it’s been a while now.

    I wish you settle in with ease and comfort. That pressure cooker sure is a must have. Hope you manage to get one soon. So you can rustle up a basic Daal, kichdi etc.

    How about exploring some chicken dishes, as they are faster to cook and salads and soups too? Wont need a pressure cooker for these.

    The pictures are all gorgeous, but I can totally imagine how tough it vis without our loved ones, in a new set up.

    I wish you happy days and a wonderful life changing experience in Germany, Reema. I bet you miss your doggo too.

  8. Such a beautiful post! The cottage with all those flowers does look like something out of a fairytale <3

  9. Rachna says:

    Awww First of all hugs! It can get so lonely especially in a different country. Having lived around the globe, I really understand what you are saying. For cooking, if possible buy a small Instant Pot. You can bring it back to India. That way you can pressure cook and do so much more. I am planning to buy an Instant pot and air fryer for my son who is in college in US now that he will be cooking himself. If you love eggs, make them for breakfast daily. Buy lots of canned stuff like chickpeas, rajma etc. so that you can at least throw together a salad with veggies. Olive oil and apple cider vinegar in pantry along with spices help you toss up a good salad. Pasta and noodles too must be there. Just meal prep during the weekend. And remember if you have leftovers you can have them for the next meal. Come on now. Cheer up. Loved your pictures. Do loads of video calls to peeps back home.

  10. Esha says:

    I hear you, Reema! I can imagine the feeling of living alone, as I did that for a good couple of months when we moved to the UK many moons back. The only difference, though, my husband and I were living in two different cities (he was working in Bristol and I was a PG student in Manchester) and we met up once in a fortnight so, it wasn’t too bad but we did have to deal with living alone in a new country and it definitely wasn’t easy.
    Knowing that you’ve done well so far, I’m sure you’ll do your best and who knows, you might even fall in love with being on your own!! :)) Jokes apart, making video calls anytime we feel like are such a blessing nowadays, so, please do that whenever you’re homesick or when you miss family!
    Pray you settle into your new life very soon, Reema.
    I’m looking forward to reading snippets from your life in Germany, so keep sharing and keep writing as and when time permits.
    Stay safe and take care

  11. Joe says:

    annoyed with the fact that the sun set before I even got back home from work….. This is something that annoyed me too many times. Be it coming back from work or be it coming back from school (yes in winters reaching back home from school after travelling by public transport, would invariably be something like 6:30 pm)

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