We arrived in Ibiza Town about an hour after sunset a few weeks ago. There was the normal few minutes of confusion in locating our AirBnB apartment, but our host came out to greet us and showed us to and around our apartment. It’s a nice little place, nothing fancy but comfortably appointed with a bedroom, a bathroom with shower, a small kitchenette, and a wonderful little sunny outside area big enough for a table and two chairs with clay-tiled room to spare. In short, it was everything we look for in an extended beach area apartment rental.
It was still early enough when we arrived for a quick walk down to the water. Our apartment is a mere 80-odd steps up from the very eastern end of the playa. Only if the apartment was located on the playa would it have been any better, but considering those apartments cost twice what ours did, we made out pretty well with our stay in Ibiza. We took a quick stroll down the playa, though it was still too early in the season for many of the little waterside restaurants, bars, and cafes that we’ve since seen open to have been open that first night. No matter, we just wanted to get a quick peek at the Mediterranean before turning in for the night.
On the walk back, we stopped in the local grocery and picked up the basic provisions, namely coffee. Returning to our apartment, we unpacked according to our travel rituals, setup our Apple-centric charging station, and climbed in bed.
It was only then that we realized–Oh, no!–that our apartment didn’t have air conditioning. This realization came with a touch of panic because, well, we’re Americans. We’re conditioned for air conditioning, so to speak. We like packaged and perfected climate control, neatly and tightly managed and maintained comfort, and a nicely–strictly–governed environment. How could this oversight befall seasoned travelers such as us?
|Our Patio in Ibiza|
Some months before we left, we had inquired into another AirBnB place, one in the Dalt Vila (Ibiza’s old town) that was very close to the cathedral. It would be the perfect base for exploring the medieval city and, I imagined, a good temporary office for remote work and for ancestry research. It had a picturesque loft arrangement with all the same aforesaid features. And it had air conditioning: wonderful and glorious climate control. But in the process of confirming dates and pinning everything down, we lost the homeowner’s attention and she started renting out our dates, despite that we were going to rent it for a month. With only a few weeks to go, we had to find another place, a place with an entire month of availability mind you, pretty quickly.
Never mind that the place we wound up in is ideally closer to the beach, never mind that it has a ceiling fan, never mind that both of us had plenty of instances growing up when we didn’t have (or need) the benefit of freon-managed comfort, and never mind that there was no indication that first night that we’d actually ever need air conditioning while in Ibiza: our panic was routed in the fear that, one afternoon, it might just get hot enough that we would actually sweat. Perspiration, after all, is the wicked bane of a clean, nice-smelling, civilized people.
If anything, we’ve been too cold here in Ibiza. The climate has been in that “perfect zone” where we get hot if we sit in the sun, but we get chilled if we sit in the shade. The Mediterranean is a Ferrari-like engine for generating cool breezes. The 2 or 3 days when it’s been overcast we’ve actually sought warmth and shelter from those breezes; both of us wore our jackets on those days. The afternoon highs have never gotten above the low 70’s, and the nighttime lows have consistently dipped down to 60, maybe the high 50’s once or twice.
So after a few days, our panic subsided and travel has taught us that we can do without yet another comfort of life that we had previously felt dependent on (like a permanent address). It’s not exactly like we’ve “sacrificed” anything in being here, and we imagine that it actually can get quite hot here come July and August. If our ceiling fan wasn’t as nice and “buzzy” as it is, we could imagine the benefit of having the hum of the A/C to put us to sleep, but then again we’ve got a nifty ambient noise app on my iPad.
Anyway, travel tends to expand your horizons, and our travel horizons now include apartments without A/C. At least when it’s not July or August. And when we’re on a tropical or semi-tropical island.