How would you prepare for a journey back in time?
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Yesterday I talked about my theory about going back in time. Check that out, if you are curious. In general I believe that going back in time would be a one way trip. I do not believe you can return to the same reality that you left.
This is the classic “Back to the Future” car. That would be a fun way to time travel.
If you do not intend to return, how would you prepare? If I knew I was going, rather than being zapped back by some freak of nature, I would prepare by understanding as much of the history of the time as possible. I would need to understand the difference between a human being of this time and a human being of that period in the past. The further I would go back, the bigger the difference will be. Going back fifty years or less probably would be the easiest to do; the changes wouldn’t be that drastic.
One thing is for sure, those people will have a far greater ability to handle a less comfortable environment. By comparison to any other time, we live in a rather cushy world. We are heated when it is cold and cooled when it is hot. The world around us is relatively free of harmful bacteria; at least as compared to other periods in history. We can be eating a meal within thirty minutes of deciding that we are hungry, and sometimes a whole lot less. We can be somewhere many miles away in less than an hour.
There are things that are not addressed in the books and movies about time travel. For example, what food is available and how is it normally prepared? The further I go back; the less likely it will be that I will find your favorite dish in a restaurant; McDonalds hasn’t been around that long. Yes, there were always meat and potatoes, but what meat is available, how is the meat stored before cooking, and how is it cooked? There was a time when people ate various birds like hawks and sparrows. If I plan to prepare my own food, I would have to remember that there are no pre-sliced or pre-processed meals. If I go back more than fifty years or so, I’ll be making meals from scratch, and that takes time.
I would get vaccinated against as many of the common deceases of the time as possible? It has only been in recent times that bacteria and viruses were understood and tracked. Hygiene wasn’t always common place and there will be all sorts of the nasty little bugs floating in every sneeze. Plates and silverware, even in the finest restaurants were not sanitized like they are now. I would probably want to take some medicine with me and have it carefully hid. I would do my best to get a hold of some antibiotics. They are also a recent invention. In most of our history, a bad infection could mean death.
The language and the morals of the time would have to be completely understood. Even traveling back as little as fifty years in the United States would require a rethinking of my vocabulary. I’m sure you can think of many common phrases that were not used when you were young. Certainly profanity wasn’t as common in normal conversation.
On a rather delicate topic, if I plan to go back more than a hundred years, I better expect far cruder bathroom facilities. Indoor plumbing was a new thing in many areas at the beginning of the twentieth century. That would probably take some getting used to.
Finally, I would have to take gems and precious metals to sell for cash. If I gave someone a quarter dated 2010 in 1957, I think that might cause a problem. I would have to know where I could sell or pawn my valuables and that would have to be one of my first stops.
Can you think of other things that you would be needed? How would you prepare for a trip back into the past? Tomorrow I will talk about what I would do when I got there.