Can it be more rewarding to explore the world by yourself from time to time? Absolutely, says Stephanie Rosenbloom, author of a new book called Alone Time: Four Seasons, Four Cities and the Pleasures of SolitudeRosenbloom, a New York Times staff writer, discusses the merits of solo travel with California Now Podcast Host Soterios Johnson, calling out a few key strategies for embracing this growing trend.

And yes, the trend is growing.

"It is absolutely on the rise," Rosenbloom says, "and we're seeing it across all sorts of groups and households. It's not just folks who are single, or people who don't have children. It's married couples, people with partners, people with kids. Even in relationships, you can't always sync up your vacations."

One of the biggest obstacles to enjoying solo travel is the stigma associated with eating alone. Rosenbloom confronted that issue in her book and discusses it in the podcast: "It's something that a lot of people bring up and say, 'I really would like to go to this restaurant alone, but I feel self-conscious. You'll hear often from folks that they feel as if people are judging them somehow or watching them, and I think that that is a very common feeling. It's something that's well worth trying to get over if you find yourself traveling alone for business, or if you want to take a trip for pleasure, because there are a lot of rewards there."

Also in this episode, Eater LA senior editor Farley Elliott lists his five favorite street food purveyors in Los Angeles, including the All Flavor No Grease food truck and Roy Choi’s pioneering Kogi BBQ. In the third and final segment, Thom Curry helps us understand California’s vibrant olive oil industry. The Temecula Olive Oil Co. co-owner provides tips on tasting, offers up a proposed olive oil road trip itinerary, and shares a bit of historical context.