The year is now. Miraculously, scientists have discovered a way to travel through time at the speed of light. Fun, right?
Not necessarily – unless you know exactly where you want to go. You can only choose once, and each era is riddled with sights and unforeseen dangers you could probably never imagine.
So what’ll it be? Want to walk with the dinosaurs, or watch how the universe was created? Would you rather jump into the future and see a technologically advanced world where diseases such as cancer don’t even exist?
If you’re just in it for the clothes, the groovy 1960s and ’70s could be more your style, if not the Roaring ’20s. But if it’s adventure you seek, perhaps you should take a chapter straight out of STARZ’s drama, “Outlander.” You could head back to the 1700s and fight alongside combat nurse Claire Randall and Scottish warrior Jamie Fraser.
To discover others’ time-travel preferences, we surveyed 2,000 people across the U.S. Take a look at the results and see how your desire to transport to the past or future compares!
Blast to the Past or Beyond?
The 2,000 prospective time travelers polled fell into two categories. 53 percent (mostly women) dream of the past, and 47 percent (mostly men) set their sights on the future.
The majority of travelers between ages 20 and 29 would rather party with aliens than those in the 30-and-above age set, who would rather visit the past. Of course, the past could include a time they can only see on the screen or read about in books. Traveling back to the bygone period from the “Outlander” series by Diana Gabaldon – the source material behind the STARZ show – just may be on their lists. The show returns for its second season on April 9.
Where to Go?
The majority of women, travelers ages 30 to 49, and nearly 8 percent of those polled would like to bounce back about a century to the Roaring ’20s, and dance the night away like a proper flapper.
Just behind the Roaring ’20s is the Roman Empire. There, the majority of men see themselves conquering vast lands and ruling the most extensive political and social structure in the Western civilization, as do travelers ages 20 to 29. Those ages 50 and older want to head back to Colonial America, though this period didn’t even crack the top five time-travel spots.
Where Not to Go
If there’s one place you don’t want to go, it’s the Dark Ages. Of those polled, 16.5 percent agree. Barbarity and day-to-day instability? No, thank you.
Not far behind are the first days of Earth and the Era of the Dinosaurs, each hovering at just over 16 percent. The Stone Age and the “aughts” – or the 2000s – snared 6.5 and 5.8 percent of votes respectively.
A good number of women plus those between ages 20 to 29 and those 40 and older have zero interest in running for their lives from a nine-ton, school bus–sized Tyrannosaurus Rex. Those ages 30 to 39, as well as the majority of men, would rather skip the first days of Earth.
A Case Against Hopping Back in Time
An absence of modern medicine and stunted technology, as well as plague, disease, and famine, are the top three reasons to stay far away from the past, according to just over 40 percent of those polled. Still, the majority of men and those ages 30 to 39 seem unable to live without their laptops and smartphones.
More than 18 percent, as well as travelers ages 20 to 29 and 40 to 49, couldn’t get by without advanced medical care, and those 50 and older fear plague, disease, and famine.
Unfortunately, for Claire Randall of “Outlander,” poor medical care became all too familiar when she was mysteriously transported back in time to 1743 Scotland.
The Past Can Be Fun, Too!
If you can get past the overall lack of development, traveling back in time might not be so bad! A whopping 41 percent would do it for the adventure, while nearly 12 percent would be in it for the freedom. Men are looking for liberty as well as adventure.
Mingling with famous figures snagged 10 percent of the overall vote, for those ages 40 and older, and for women after adventure.
Who Would You Meet?
Want to learn more about who you are? So do 13 percent of future time travelers, who would rather meet an ancestor than a scientist. Although “A scientist” was the most popular answer for men, snaring 11.5 percent of the overall vote, 9.7 percent would want to meet an inventor. Meeting a philosopher came in at 7.8 percent, and last was a musician or composer at 6.9 percent.
An ancestor also caught the interest of all ages, as well as the female popular vote.
From Einstein to Tesla
Albert Einstein has a ton of fans among time travelers – the popular vote among all ages, men, and 5.5 percent of the overall vote. Leonardo da Vinci trailed behind in second with women, and 5.3 percent overall. U.S. presidents Abraham Lincoln and George Washington earned 3.9 percent and 3 percent respectively, while inventor Nikola Tesla came in fifth at 2.8 percent.
The Future Is Our Oyster
If scientists can tap into time travel, any number of other milestones can’t be far from reach. Discovery of life on other planets is the No. 1 reason to head for the future, according to 18.2 percent of time travelers and the majority of male voters. Meeting a future descendant (12.8 percent overall and the female popular vote), teleportation (11.3 percent), a trip to the first space colony (10.2 percent), and a cure for cancer (8.5 percent) follow.
Until time travel is actually invented and subsequent handbooks hit bookstores, keep dreaming about where you want to go. It’s a big decision. While Claire Randall didn’t have a choice on when she traveled in time, she has certainly discovered the best parts of time travel and the most dangerous as well.
For Claire and Jamie to save their future, they must first change the past. See what awaits them when Outlander returns to STARZ April 9.
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