In a few minutes, you will time-travel 100+ years!


Welcome to the very first “What if Wednesday”! Let’s let our imaginations run wild….

Imagine that 10 minutes from now, you will leap into the past or future.

The rules are:

  1. You cannot opt out.
  2. You depart from the present year in exactly 10 minutes.
  3. You may choose your destination year. It must be more than 100 years prior to or following the present. For example, if you are reading this in 2017, you must EITHER go back in time to any year prior to 1917, OR go forwards in time to a year after 2117.
  4. This is a one-way trip. You will STAY in whatever year you pick for the rest of your life. Choose wisely!
  5. You may be fully dressed, and you may bring 3 easily-carried, small items with you.
  6. You cannot bring any person or animal with you.
  7. When you arrive in your destination year, you will land unscathed in the exact geographic location that you are currently in right now.

I was thinking about this last night and became fascinated.

My initial thought is: how crazy would this be? First, 10 minutes is an awfully short time to digest this news, not to mention also make major decisions, like what year to permanently go to. I would be filled with all kinds of emotions, and it would be sad to not have time to say proper goodbyes.

The task of choosing what year to end up in FOREVER is an intimidating one. Compared to the unknowns of the future, the past is less uncertain, and may seem appealing initially.

No social media distraction? Less pollution and processed foods to gunk up our bodies? A simple, quiet life?

But upon further thought, I’d realize that I wouldn’t want to go back in time. First, I am a woman of color who appreciates rights like suffrage and freedom. Second, not only am I a woman of color, but I’m also mixed race – African and Asian – which I’m guessing might ostracize me from every community, depending on the time period? (historians, feel free to chime in!). Third, I am way too accustomed to modern conveniences to willingly say goodbye to technologies like cars, electricity, and the internet.

I could go on, but the main point is that I will be going forward, not backward, in time.

The question then becomes: how far into the future would I go? Leaping 100+ years into the future invariably means traveling to a time when everyone I have ever loved, everyone I have ever known, is long dead. That would be an extremely difficult future to enter. Let’s just hope that some fringe research group will develop a way to significantly slow aging, so that when I arrive in the future, all my loved ones still will be alive and kicking! (Ok, so I know this would introduce all kinds of overpopulation issues, but let’s just deal with one thing a time – I’ve only got 10 minutes and the clock is ticking!)

So what year would I choose? I probably wouldn’t want to go too far into the future, like the year 720,639,821,335,024… I mean, if I leap this far, I might find myself on a post-human, mars-like version of earth, where only city ruins and fossils remain.

I think I’ll stick closer to the “near” future, and jump to the nearest possible year, 2118. Maybe in the next few generations, we’ll have figured out the renewable energy situation, and put an end to things like hunger, cancer, racism, poverty, etc… or I guess we’ll find out.

Now, what to take with me to 2118? Only 3 small-ish items allowed. I won’t take my phone, as I’d have to also bring my charger (a second item), and both are likely to be obsolete by 2118. Will people even use cell towers or wall-sockets for electricity in the future? Hmm. Better stick with items that don’t depend on present technology. Hmm.

What about a bag of money? Surely money will stand the test of time? But even if I had a pileΒ the cash on hand at this moment, I’m guessing that with inflation and God knows what else, it likely wouldn’t be worth very much in a hundred years. Plus, will we still be using cash for currency by then? Who knows, maybe the future is a bitcoin society. To avoid the possibility of a worthless-old-timey-money situation, let’s leave the cash in the present.

Ok, I got it. Β (1) My journal, to write down all my thoughts. (2) A pen, with which to write said thoughts. And (3) a photo album, to remember my former life by. Well, that is, if I had physical photos and not just digital versions. Since I don’t have prints and or any time to do anything about that, I would probably grab the framed photograph of Joel and me from our wedding day that is hanging in our living room. So my 3 things are: a pen, my journal, and a photograph.

And with my remaining moments in the present, I would hug Joel tightly, and tell him that will love him forever.

What about you?Β What year would you choose for your destination, and what 3 things would you take with you?

#whatifwednesday #whatifwed #wif


89 thoughts on “In a few minutes, you will time-travel 100+ years!

  1. At first, I thought I would want to go back in time to colonial times because I think it would be really cool. But then you kind of put the thought in my head that we know what the past is like but don’t know what the future is like. So I think I would go forward in time but not more than 110 years.

  2. This was fun to think about. I’d probably choose the future too, just so I could see what it would look like. Plus, I’d be able to meet the next generation of my family. I’d probably choose a year like you did. And three things I’d bring are a mini fridge, a soft rocking chair, and sunglasses. I’m banking on the fact the sun will still be bright.

  3. Ha! I see you had fun with this, Dawn. I’d certainly love to get away like that — but I have to take my cat with me. I tend to make my own rules, so I would have had to change all those really stressful parameters. ;) I’m with you about the modern conveniences though… particularly the sanitary ones. o_O
    Congrats on a grand start to your new feature. Looking forward to how this turns out next week. Hugs!

  4. Great set-up! I’m sitting in my house built on a limestone ridge – so I think the stone will not cave in/erode away for a while (beaches? riverbanks? high-rises? you may end up in trouble!) So I’ll go 500 years forward. I’m obsolete no matter what, so might as well get a good look at the future. What to bring? A box of power bars, the biggest bottle I can fill with water before I go zap… and a sleeping bag. I live in a rural area – there may be no one around for miles when I get to the future – may have to find a major river and walk out.

    1. i LOVE this! 500 years into the future, wooh! Good thinking on those 3 things. It’s true, might as well get a good look at the future while you’re at it! :)

  5. Such an interesting topic. I think I’d go to the future. We know what happened in the past and I feel as a woman id not be happy with losing rights and freedom I have today. Plus going back into the middle of the first world war dose not seem appealing. Such a great conversation starter xo

  6. Interesting blog. I would go into the future. In a hundred years, hopefully there will be some interstellar travel. I wonder if we find alien life? I might take a couple bars of gold as that seems to last in value. Otherwise, I’m not sure…

    1. I wish I had a couple bars of gold! If I did, those would definitely be on my list too. I hope we’ll have figured out the interstellar travel thing by then, that would be super cool. :)

  7. Oh yes – what a cool idea, Dawn:)). And like you, it would definitely have to be in the future… But I would really like to be part of a society where we’d nailed living in space.

    1. That would be amazing! I’d love the option of living in space πŸ™‚ and also traveling to other planets too!

  8. Okay first of all, congratulations on writing the most creative post ever! Seriously, I love it.

    I want to travel 100 years into the past. So, 1817. I want to meet some of my ancestors and have the chance to make some valuable changes for the future!

    The first and most important item that I would take with me is a notebook filled with great inventions and the lyrics to the top 100 greatest song hits of the century. A girl needs to make money some how.

    Then I would also bring a snack. Okay, two snacks. Because I don’t know where I’d end up or what sort of things there would be for me to eat! :)

    1. I love the idea of traveling back to the past with a notebook full of ideas for improving the future! And i like that you also have a good idea for making money! Nicely done πŸ™‚

  9. This is fascinating, Dawn! There’s so much to consider.. and we can’t make one of our three things to take a person either.. dang it! I’d bring a book, a journal, and a pen! Wait… what about chocolate.. and slippers… I might need to revise this ;)

  10. Absolutely love this post! Super cool! I would travel to the future, same reasons as you because I’m also WOC. I would love to see future music and dances! I would bring my Polaroid camera and completely shock those people at how ancient I am. I would also bring an original taco recipe, because with all this fusion going on, I think people are going to forget the basic taste of an Al Pastor taco. Lastly, someone with me to experience this journey.

  11. Wow. Umm, let’s see here-

    I’ve always kinda dreamed about going back in the past, and I think it’d fit me better. Not to mention I’m white as you can get, so I wouldn’t face discrimination there. But I am a woman. So that would be tough because I wouldn’t even have any male friends or family members going back in time with me. I’d probably be part of the Sufferagette Movement.

    For the items I’d bring, I’d bring a huge history book of the major events that happened during the 1900’s. I’d probably also bring my glasses because I’d be blind as a bat without them, and rob my medicine cabinet and shove it all in a suitcase. Either that, or I’d forgo the history book for a book of medicinal/edible plants so I’d know right off the bat of what I could eat and what not to eat.

    Or I’d switch something out for my money. Adjusting for inflation, I’d start off well with just $30 or $50 dollars in my pocket.

    Bringing any electronic thing would probably end up with me hanging from a noose or buring at the stake. That would be a huge mi-stake (pun totally intended). I would rather not end up dead in the century I just arrived in.

    And then, finally, I’d hug all my family members until I went and disappeared into the new century.

    I love What-If Wednesdays. :D Good questions! It started up a good discussion at the dinner table.

    1. Your comment about electronics made me laugh! I’s so true, anything electronic that is so normal to us would appear as magic/witchcraft to people in the past. I like the idea of bringing some cash – you’d probably do quite well with inflation! πŸ˜€

  12. This was such a neat thought experiment! I think I would go back in time simply because then you know what you are getting yourself into. It is scary though to think about giving up the modern conveniences! I am in love with my I-phone and I also appreciate indoor plumbing… It’s a tough one but what if the future is some sort of nuclear holocaust? Let’s hope not!

  13. A really thought provoking post. I’m not sure if I’d want to go back in time as I love all the technology we have. Even thinking back to my childhood the world has changed so much. But if I went forward in time would it be a case of too much technology? Would we actually do anything but start technology with voice control? I like it here to be honest

    1. I like the technology we currently have too! I agree, it would be hard to make an adjustment, whether it be to less or more technology! Thanks for adding your 2 cents! :)

  14. To be honest that is an interesting way of looking at it. Everyone says they want to experience a certain era. But permanently live there? That is a whole other thing. If I could though, I would go back to the 90s, because I feel like I missed out on a lot of awesome things. But since that is out of the question, I feel like I would have to go forward as well. I couldn’t give up my tampons and sanitaries so I hope they still haven’t used up all the water 100 years into the future. Soooo things I would take would be 1) a printout of my current unfinished manuscript (because I would hate leaving it unfinished) 2) the first Harry Potter book (Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home) 3) a first aid kit (in case I land in a dystopian future). Future me might hate me for it later but I just couldn’t live without my Harry Potter. At least the first book isn’t the heaviest.

  15. I would definitely NOT go to the past. But actually I CAN’T imagine leaving without my loved ones. So I’d certainly stay where I am now.
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  16. Wow, this one is a thinker! I think I would go back in time. Because the future is a total unknown. But then, what we know about the past is often far from positive… Hmm. This is a tough one. I would definitely need the entire 10 minutes to decide, LOL.

    1. haha i would definitely need the whole 10 minutes! the future is really uncertain, and the past is not the most positive – you are absolutely right! thanks Elizabeth, i hope you have an amazing day!

  17. What an interesting blog post! I’ve never really thought about time travel, but if I had to choose, I would go forward 100 years, like you chose. I would take a picture of my family, my wedding ring, and a Bible. I cannot imagine how much the world will have changed in 100 years.

    1. i like your 3 things! i think going forward 100 years is probably a safe bet! thanks Margaret, I hope you have a wonderful day!

  18. The more I read the rationale you presented for YOUR decision, the more convinced I became that I live in the perfect time and place for ME! And it made me so THANKFUL for all that I have been blessed with!

    1. The present is pretty great, isn’t it! Thanks for taking the time to stop by and read! I appreciate it! I hope you have a wonderful day!

  19. I immediately thought, I’d love to go back to 1880 or so. Reflecting, that would be a really hard farm life at my present location. I really like where I am and am not crazy about going that far in the future either.

    1. The past would have a lot of interesting aspects! Farm life can be challenging — my grandmother has a farm and she is super tough! Thanks Lauren, have a superb day!

  20. You have provided me with a lot to ponder. I don’t know how far back or forward I want to go. Both would be huge adjustments and being thrown in without a gradual introduction would make me anxious.

    1. I agree, both would be huge adjustments that would probably require an acclimation period. Very thought provoking! Thanks rose, i hope you have a wonderful day!

    1. Haha yeah that “no opt out” part would put some urgency into the decision, wouldn’t it! I agree, the present is probably the most comfortable for me too. Thanks Adriana, i hope you have a lovely day!

  21. This is such an interesting and fun to think about. After reading your article, I think I will do the same. Lol!! For now, I really like where I am now and I’m not crazy going that far in the future either.

    1. Aw thank you Candace, I’m glad you found this interesting! I thought it was a fun thought experiment too. Thanks for stopping by, i hope your day is amazing!

  22. I honestly don’t know what I would pick, the past or the future! 10 minutes isn’t that long so probably the future!

    1. 10 minutes is such a short time to make such a big decision! I agree, the future seems like a better bet. Thanks for stopping by! I hope you have a wonderful day!

  23. Fascinating post! I would choose the future, too. Let’s forget the fact that we wouldn’t have modern medicine or sanitation in the past (I’m a bit of a germaphobe), I’m also bi-racial – native American Mvskoke – and white. I also wouldn’t be accepted by either community. I would take my my photo album (and quickly print some current photos to add to it). I don’t think I’d bother with anything else. Anything else could be replaced in the future. I would spend the rest of the time snuggling with my kids and husband and kitties.

    1. The past would be tough for us biracial ladies! I like your idea of quickly printing current photos! I agree, anything else could be replaced in the future! Thanks Alicia, i hope you have an awesome day!!

  24. Wow this really got me thinking! I’m a huge sci-fi geek so it’s the future for me, preferable one where we can travel to space and have colonized other planets :) I’d bring a book, a picture of my family and….a toothbrush??? LOL!

    1. That would be so cool if we have figured out space travel and could visit or even live on other planets! I love it. Thanks Joline, i hope your day is amazing! 😊

    1. Its an interesting thought experiment, isn’t it? Thanks for taking the time to read! I hope you have an amazing day!

  25. Wow, I don’t even know where to start on this! Just the thought of leaving my family would crush me. My two boys are my world, so I would definitely start with something of them to remind me of them. Besides that, I don’t know what I would bring, but I would go to the future. We already know what happened in the past, I would want to see what’s coming. I think.

    1. Aw i like the thought of bringing something to remind you of your boys. I agree, the future is where I’d go too! Thanks Stephanie, i hope you habe an amazing day!

    1. Its a big decision to have to make, i dont blame you for wanting more time! I’m glad it was interesting, i really appreciate your stopping by to read! I hope you have an amazing day!

  26. I can understand not wanting to go back given the racism and social issues that there were back then. I think being a history fan I would want to go back. As I am not sure what the future brings I think that would scare me too much.

    1. I totally get wanting to go to the past based on your love of history! It would probably be cool to experience it in real life :) Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read, David, I hope you have an amazing day!

  27. One of my favorite shows and book series is Outlander, but I would never travel back in time like the main character Claire did. LIke you I’m a multi-ethnic WOC and I’m no ones white passing, so no backtravel for me. I can barely tolerate the racism of today. So even though the unknown scares me, I’d take my chances with the future. I might meet some of my descendants lol!

    1. I’ll be right there with you! How weird would it be to meet our great-great-great-great grandkids! haha :) Thanks for taking the time to stop by Aitza, I appreciate your reading and responding! I hope you have an amazing day!

    1. I’m with you! To the future we go! I love your 3 things too. Thanks for stopping by Glenda, I hope you have an amazing day!

    1. I totally agree! In comparison to the unknowns of the future, the present looks very comfortable! Thanks for stopping by Julie, I hope you have an amazing day!

  28. what a fun post! It got me thinking and thinking AND thinking about which to choose ‘the past’ or the ‘future’ and of course it’s always fun to use my imagination and think outside of the box throughout this post. I’d want to do both dang it!
    love this by the way!

    1. I thought it was a super fun thought experiment too! I’m glad you liked it :) Thanks for taking the time to stop by and read Eloise! I hope you have an amazing day!

  29. I would also go foward in time. Don’t look back right?! I like your items of choice. I have no idea what i would bring. Lol

    1. I don’t blame you, its a tough decision! Thanks for taking the time to stop by and read! I hope you have a lovely day πŸ˜€

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