I just watched an episode of "Bones" in which the characters were asking each other "if you could travel in time to anywhere, where would you go?". Now several novelists and authors have broached this subject over the centuries with characters actually travelling backward or forward in time. One of the most famous television series (which has been on the air almost continually since the 1950s) is "Dr. Who" who is a Time Lord. He's always dancing from one place to another throughout the Universe changing this, saving that, and generally interfering with the bad guys in order to set things right again.
But what about you and me? If YOU could go to one place in time, would you go forward or back? Would you choose, as Dr. Saroyan said, "to have tea with Jesus" or would you choose a place in your own life? If in your own life, would you be there to change something or would you just want to revisit someone you once knew? Would you let them know who you were? If you wanted to visit a particular event or time, what would you be there for? To change something? To learn? To experience life as it was? To prevent or cause something?
Conversely, would you head to the future? If you did, would you want to know what your own life was going to do or check out someone else's life... or would you rather have a look at things in general? Would you be there to scoop an idea or stock investment knowledge or would you just want to know what things are going to look like? How far would you go? A few years, a generation, a hundred years... or more? Where would you want to land?
It's an interesting question. Personally I don't think I'd want to go back to my own life. I've lived the way I was supposed to, learned the lessons I had to, met the ones I needed to, dealt with them in whatever manner was required... and have found my way to this place in life. I rather like who I've turned out to be and I care a great deal for the people I've gathered to me. So "back" is not something that really attracts me.
But given the opportunity to go ahead even just once, I'd be tempted. Not to see what my personal life was going to be, because that could change with my next decision in this time, but to see what the world is like, especially the technology. I'd love to see what technology does in ten years time, so that's where I'd head... although I'm not quite sure which location I'd choose. I'd want it to be some place where there was absolutely no chance of meeting myself. LOL Some place "exotic" maybe? I don't know. I'd just enjoy being in the future looking around. And if in checking things out I learned about some company or idea that today was just beginning and I happened to put a few dollars into it when I came back... we-e-ell that would probably be the change in this time that would make my life different there. :)
Now wait... that gives me an idea. What if I went back to the early 70s, before I got married but after I left home, and instead of buying a house when I was 22... what if I invested that $10,652.09 I got from the lawsuit for that car accident in that little company called "Intel" that was getting started. ($0.02 per share in mid 1972) I could have sold it again in 1999 ($40 per share in mid-September) and be quite well off today (over $22 million!). Hmmm.... now there's food for thought. Maybe I wouldn't go ahead after all. ;)
What would you do?