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If time travel were possible

February 19, 2014 - Pam Rodgers

During a recent conversation, a question was posed that really got me thinking: if you travel back to the past, knowing you would probably never return, where would you choose to go and why?

This was a very intriguing question. I hope I’m not alone when I say I have pictured myself at different points in history. I try to imagine what my life would have been like at that time and if I would even be able to survive.

But if you think about it, I could pick anytime in history. So should I choose to go back and try to stop something awful from happening?

Could I get anyone to believe me if I went back to 2001 and tried to stop those planes from taking off and stop 9/11 from happening? I’d probably get arrested, but I’d give it my best shot.

Maybe I would go back and tell Abraham Lincoln he shouldn’t go to the theater that night and tell him to bump up security when leaving the White House. I’d probably be clapped in the mad house.

But what if I succeeded. What would our country be like if either of those events never happened? Would they have still happened but in a different way? Would my actions change history too much and destroy our society in modern times? Or would it be better?

Whoa, this is all getting a little too philosophical for me. Perhaps I should keep it simple and just travel back to a time out of curiosity and not try to change history as we know it.

To answer this question honestly, I have two potential answers.

First, I have always wondered what it would be like to live in the United States when it was first getting started after the Revolutionary War. We are taught about how our ancestors laid the foundation for the country as we know it, but a text book couldn’t possibly do it justice. To live in that time would be a great adventure.

The second possibility would be to go back even further, to the medieval times of Scotland. I would love to see the beauty of the highlands at that time. The landscapes described in the novels sound like a wonder to behold. And because of Disney movies, I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of living in a castle.

There are several problems with both of those. First, I’m a woman. The power scale wasn’t exactly in my favor at either of those points in history. I’m strong and smart, which could either work for me or against me depending what I’m doing. In the early Americas, those were probably favorable traits. I could work along side my family to build our homestead. In medieval times though the traits are probably wasted or suppressed. Of course that would depend if I was highborn or lowborn. I know which I would choose.

Another major consideration is how tech happy I am. At any given time I have an SmartPhone, tablet or computer nearby. Of course I have gone “unplugged” for extended periods of time, but I always find my way back. I'm pretty sure I would miss the indoor plumbing more than the internet ... but the ranking is closer than it should be.

All-in-all, it’s an interesting topic to contemplate. I am perfectly happy with the world I live in now. I’m not sure I would like to change permanently, but who knows what my answer will be when my time machine is built. According to that Super Bowl commercial, all I need is a bag of Doritos to make it work. Now I will always have a bag of Cool Ranch on hand, just in case.



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