Firstly I have to confess that as bad as my view of this ‘modern’ world can appear to be at times, I honestly don’t mind the time I live in today and feel honestly blessed to live in a time of internet, advanced medicine and decent hygiene and sanitation. (well…only in some parts unfortunately.)
But I always find myself wondering, however randomly and out of the blue, what it would be like to live in another place, another time…and how much I would undoubtedly enjoy it…(any one else out there?) Fitting concerning my musings, I decided to make this idea the theme of this post – If I could live in another time for lets say a decade, what time and what places would I choose (at this current moment, with my current favorites and knowledge – I have to admit though, I haven’t done as much research as I should if I was to ever (hopefully) be faced with a decision like this, so I am aware as for my chosen times and places, along with the many pro’s there will always be cons, as is common with most of history)
To be honest though, the majority of my infatuation with some of these times is probably because in my head the idealized version and situation lives there. While I’m positive many would love to be, lets just choose a random time, an 18th Austrian princess or prince none of us would like to be the impoverished Austrian peasant……
If I had a time machine and could visit places for short periods of time as many times as I want, my destinations would be unlimited. I’d travel to every time and everywhere to try and experience as much as possible as you do when visiting a foreign country and try to build up to that impossible goal that you can always strive to but never reach: to fully experience all the world has to offer.
So anyways, back to the post, if I could only choose just three times/places to experience for a decade, I would choose the the following three. They are in no particular order are based on the assumption that I would be be an ordinary middle class lass in her 20’s for the span of the chosen decade… not a continuously time-hopping era-pirate unfortunately;
1. The 60’s, America
There is the accepted image of the oh-so-very general summary of the 60’s that involves mainly the atmosphere, the people, the activism and of course THE MUSIC! It was a wonderful time, but it did also have it’s cons (Vietnam War undoubtedly for example) and it is not necessarily the completely perfect idealistic image of revolutionary antics and easy going protests as many think, but I would love to live in this time for the atmosphere, people and well, for the main aspect which draws me to this time…simply, the music. The majority of those who I classify my favorite artists were musical pioneers during this time – I would love to be one of the young girls going ballistic over the fab four at one of their concerts, I would love to see and hear The Doors LIVE, the stones, The Seekers, to be alive and present for Woodstock! It was a static revolutionary storm atmosphere with it’s own soundtrack and I would have loved to be part of it.
2. 1920’s, Paris
Midnight in Paris is one of my favorite films for its music, its whimsicalness and how it effectively re-introduced me to this era and opened my eyes to the wonderful atmosphere and brilliant persona’s of that time present in Paris.
I would love to live in 1920’s Paris, or the “Années Folles” as it was refereed to in French for many reasons: I adore the fashion of 1920’s Paris, the culture, the jazz, the interesting artists, the rise of surrealism, the change in women’s status, all of this coupled with the embezzling charm and beauty of Paris, the literary aspect of the writers living in Paris, for example some of those Americans in Paris, who are some of my favorite writers and personalities in general: Hemingway, the Fitzgeralds, the writers like them and Stein who are “Generation Perdu,” The Lost Generation…To be present in a time just overall endorsing the wonderful joie de vivre and exciting creativity!
3. Late 19th Centuary – early 20th centuary, Egypt
*The timing would be a decade but I’m not sure when exactly – currently I’m inclined to the 1890’s.
Thinking about this now, I must consent that there’s probably a reason why The Mummy is also one of my favorite films. Nothing cinematographically that revolutionary, breathtaking or even super emotionally tolling about it, but simply its plot is buried (no pun intended) in one of my favorite subjects! Egyptology!
When I was around 5 I discovered my love of …well everything about Ancient Egypt. I remember sitting on the kitchen counter and quizzing my befuddled mother about Egyptian gods and goddesses and the importance of papyrus. My love of the past, of people & their culture originated from my original infautation with Ancient Egypt, and there have been many a days where I wished I could have been an archeologist during the times of Egyptmania I always loved archaeology because it encompasses my thirst for history and answers, for mysteries waiting to be solved and new ones in their place. I always loved how it made history seem like a puzzle, carefully piecing together a story of a civilization through discovered artifacts! (Emphasis on carefully though.. Were those charred remains really a sacrificial religious locations or simply a common diner gathering..?)
Female egyptologists like Amelia Edwards are my heroes and it is no surprise that Anthropology and Archaeology are still on my list of possible careers. I just always wished that I was born during this time so I could be one of the lucky ones present during height of Ancient Egyptian curiosity, when there was still so much to experience and rediscover!
I can imagine the atmosphere; one of excitement, sand stinging your eyes, on the brink of a new discovery , the musky chemical smell of tombs that had not been opened for centuries, the delight of discover, holding a glistering torch through a damp, dark and narrow passage, staring at a wonder from another time. Of course this serves as my personal blatant Romanticism of the whole experience: one must not forget the sweat and dirt, the sexism and disspaointment that one would experiance more freuquantly than the excitement above – but for me it would be worth it.
That new atmosphere of excitement, of re-discovering tidbits from history from another time, another civilisation. Eh I love it!
It’s your turn now! If you could live in any three places, at geographic location, at any particular time, where and when would you choose?
With lots of love, cobwebs and glittering Egyptian tombs,