The life of a time traveller is a dangerous one.

I’m not sure what prompted me to write a post entirely about travelling in time. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen Midnight in Paris one too many times, or maybe it’s because I did nothing but be a couch potato and watch all the Back to the Future movies this weekend. A combination of both?

Between Back To The Future, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Donnie Darko, Groundhog Day, and Kate & Leopold, I can only infer that if I were a time traveller, I would most likely die, go insane, or inadvertently injure people by failing to invent the elevator before falling off the Brooklyn bridge and slamming into the 21st century.

So in making my time-travel list, I had to create some stipulations:

1. I will be nothing but a spectator and therefore can not change the course of history. Butterfly effect be damned and no matter what I do, I can’t die.

2. No matter where I go, I will fit in. I will understand all languages, and I’ll automatically be clothed in the correct time period duds.

3. For the sake of diversity, I will leave out all music festivals. Would I have conceived a child at Woodstock? Yes. Would I have seen Jimi light his guitar on fire at Monterey? Yes. Would my knees have buckled at the sound of Dylan going electric? Yes. You get the picture.

4. I will not alter the list that is in my heart in order to appear sophisticated (with the exception of rule #3).

In preparing to write this article, I did a little research on the interwebs of where random strangers would go if they had the chance to time travel. Their answers overwhelmingly read like a high school essay: see Rome in it’s heyday, witness something biblical, see a famous artist at work (Michelangelo, da Vinci, etc), and experience the Victorian era.

I, however, am much more shallow than this.

1. San Francisco, 1967-1969

Herein lies probably the most obvious item on this list given my deep love affair with San Francisco. No matter what you call them: hippies, flower children, bohemians, or free-spirits, I yearn to join the ranks of the great counterculture in a time when it felt like it mattered. I’d hang out in Haight Ashbury and Golden Gate Park, peacefully protesting war and listening to Allen Ginsberg speak at Human Be-Ins.

Additionally, I would hang out with Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead, Ken Kesey, and hoards of other hippies while wearing free-flowing clothing and letting my hair grow wild.

2. Paris, 1920’s

To appease my more romantic, literary side, I would time travel to this gorgeous French city and hang out with the Lost Generation. The Fitzgeralds, Gertrude Stein, Pablo Picasso, James Joyce, and just for the sake of I-probably-should-because-i’m-here-already, Ernest Hemingway.

The musical stylings of Cole Porter, Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis, and Louis Armstrong would ring in my ears as I carelessly sip back hard liquor and wear all the beads.

For more information on exactly what would happen, see: Midnight In Paris

3. New York City 1970’s

New York City in the 1970’s was many things: it was riddled with crime and violence, it had extremely inexpensive real-estate, and it was a hub for artists of all sorts (Have you guys started watching The Get Down yet?!). All of these things were of course intertwined, and because of that they together made for one of the most interesting eras of NYC. For the purpose of ease, I’ve mashed the decade together into one big grime fest.

The first thing I would do when I get to 1970’s New York is I would book myself into a room at Hotel Chelsea, from where I would befriend a variety of characters such as Patti Smith & Robert Mapplethorpe and (because I can’t die) Sid & Nancy. At night, I would check out CBGB’s and Max’s Kansas City where I would hang out with the Ramones, Blondie, Television, Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, and Talking Heads. Later into the night, I would get into some subway tagging with this band of famous graffiti artists before heading uptown to Studio 54.

Time Traveller

At CBGB’s in 2014. It’s now a high-end clothing store.

4. The Wild West, 1881

Or to be more specific, October 26, 1881, in Tombstone, Arizona at the site of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.

Maybe it has something to do with my love of the desert, outlaws, and Kurt Russel-esque men with great mustaches. Or maybe this choice was based almost entirely on the cool factor of the movie Tombstone. I’ve yet to pin it down.

I’d start my day off pouring drinks as a bar wench in a hoop skirt and a ridiculous up-do (did they even let women be bartenders?). I’d chat up Doc Holliday, Wyatt Earp, and the crazy cowboy outlaws. I’d stick around and smoke my pipe until about 3:00 PM when the gunslingin’ starts and then hightail it to where the bodies aren’t a’ flyin’.


5. Early Cretaceous Period (98 – 144 Million Years Ago)

Because Dinosaurs.

And why early Cretaceous period do you ask? For no other reason really then when I google searched it, this one came back to tell me it had the coolest animals. If I were to go back in time to hang with the Dino’s, then I’d definitely go back as a predator. Put me up on the food chain, or make me taste really terrible to the other ‘saur’s. I know I mentioned above that when I travel in time I can’t die, but I also don’t want a chunk taken out of me either.

When I think of Dinosaurs roaming the earth, I think of them at Yosemite.

And there you have it, folks. The Top 5 Places I would travel back in time to had I the opportunity.

What would be on your list?

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