Every time I watch X Men or any movie where the characters have some unique powers, I think of what mine would be. It always comes down to the ability to travel through time as my only pick. Hands down. No question about it. There have been many movies and shows about characters that have travelled through time, from The Time Machine, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure and Back to the Future to Timecop, Looper and Timeline to name a few. Our fascination with the past is constant and we always come up with many ways that to play out how to go about it in our imaginations. But can you still travel through time without actually setting a foot in the world of the past?
Travel through time
I will argue that in many ways we are able to go back in time, to different periods and experience them firsthand. There are no worries of messing something up or changing the future. It’s all legit and you have probably done it many times. Let’s take a look.
History in books
Books are not a new invention. People have been creating stories, written and unwritten, for as long as they have existed in this world. You can always step back in time to a different world, different era and experience it as if you were there by reading a book.
I used to read historical romances because I liked that they were set in the past and had interesting story lines. I love that books provide the ability to see the world as it was when the author set the story line. Although I like books written about the past, but nothing beats books written in the past.
My fave book growing up was The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas. It transported me to early 17th century France and the court intrigues of the day. The Twelve Caesars written in AD 121 by Suetonius, is a biography of the 12 Roman emperors. It’s like reading a tabloid, full of salacious gossip and racy exploits of ancient Romans. Who said history was boring?
A glimpse of the past in movies
Unlike books, movies can literally bring history alive. There is so much you can do with studio stages, graphics and special effects that books can’t provide. You can actually see what the past looked like and how people dressed. It’s all right there in front of your eyes.
One of my fave movies is The Mummy with Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weiss. I love the opening, which is set in ancient Egypt as are the many flashbacks that follow. Egypt has always fascinated me and movies like that provide a glimpse into what the world looked like in the past.
There are so many movies set in the days gone by. From the ancient times to present, there is a movie that can spark your imagination. From Moulin Rouge, The Tudors and even The Godfather or the Titanic, we can travel though time again and again.
Travel to historical places
Although it might not seem like it, visiting historical places transports us back in time. If you’ve been to the Colosseum, you have walked on paths built by the Romans centuries ago. If you’ve climbed the Great Wall of China, you have gone in the footsteps of those who contributed to building that wall. That goes for all the other magnificent monuments, structures and temples in the world.
Those who created them might be gone, but what they left behind still stands. Sometimes it’s in pieces, crumbling away far from its original greatness. Sometime it’s meticulously restored and preserved and in some instances, it’s completely gone.
Unless your imagination is out of this world, it’s hard to imagine what those magnificent places looked like in their glory. I always love when they have images of the place from the past, be that a painting or a sketch. It provides you with a glimpse into the past. One you’re standing in at that moment. That’s pretty spectacular if you think about it.
Travel through time with technology
I don’t know about you, but I am super excited about virtual and augmented reality. The possibilities for experiential travel are endless. Imagine walking the Roman Forum, seeing the pyramids, or even visiting the lost world of Atlantis in all their glory. There are many places that no longer exist and we have knowledge of what they were like from the writings of others. It’s not far-fetched to imagine that we can bring them to life with technology.
Just as Pokemon Go enabled us to see things on our screens that don’t exist in real life, we can recreate the monuments, temples, castles and churches of the past just as they were. Imagine getting Google glass-type device on your next visit to the Colosseum that allows you to see the place in its glory. You are walking along the spectators, gladiators or anything you decide. You are walking along the Acropolis in full splendour or mingling with the locals in Machu Picchu. Imagine visiting temples and pyramids that look like they were just constructed. I mean, it’s the ultimate ability to travel through time experience.
I think my life would never be the same.
Are you a time traveller?
Would you like to literally travel back in time? Let me know!