I've thought a lot about this during the last few days, and there aren't many time-travel destinations that I'd accept. When you consider the high mortality rates, lack of technology, and inferiority of other countries to the U.S. of A., the past doesn't seem nearly as appealing.
However, I've ranked the top three destinations that I would choose for time-travel.
3. Missouri, 1845
I would have loved to live during the time of Mark Twain's childhood and maybe meet the young Samuel Clemens. If Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn are at all reflective of Twain's own life, mischief was the only pastime for kids back then. I would much rather fake my own funeral like Tom Sawyer than play viedo games like today's kids. Here's how Twain describes a Missouri general store in Autobiography of Mark Twain:
If a boy bought five or ten cents' worth of anything, he was entitled to half a handful of sugar from the barrell; if a woman bought a few yards of calico she was entitled to a spool of thread in addition to the usual gratis "trimmins;" if a man bought a trifle, he was at liberty to draw and swallow as big a drink of whisky as he wanted.
Sugar for the kids, thread for the women, and whisky for the men. Simpler times.
"It was the time... when a Native American was referred to as Injun Joe."
2. Florence, 1500
Despite the fact that the average life expectancy was just 35 years, I couldn't resist traveling to Italy during the time of Leonardo da Vinci. I consider myself a Renaissance man anyways (teacher, blogger, skell), so I would have fit right in. Plus, I could have referred to myself as FranT da Vinci, which has a beautiful ring to it.
1. Hamburg, 1959
In Malcolm Gladwell's terrific book Outliers, he details how The Beatles used to play eight hours a day in a strip club in Hamburg. I would have loved to travel back and see the Fab Four as a glorified garage band. Then, I would travel around the world in the 1960s and see Muhammad Ali fight, Stan Musial hit, Willie Mays run, Woodstock rock, and the Rolling Stones jam.
Some destinations that didn't make the cut:
--Atlantic Ocean, 1660s. Pirates were cool, but scurvy doesn't sound like fun.
--France, anytime. Self-explanatory.
--Alabama, 1930. I would have loved to hang out with Scout and Jem Finch, but I would not have loved to live in Alabama. Ever.
That's my list of acceptable destinations.
Whenever you're discussing time travel, people are liable to find flaws and loopholes in the logic of your argument. To those people, I say: