When I was a kid I would have picked the Wild West. I wanted to be Calamity Jane or a rider for the Pony Express.
In high school I was super obsessed with Paris in the 1920s: Hemingway, the Fitzgeralds, Gertrude Stein... Midnight in Paris would have been my dream come true!
Noodle in Paris! May 2013
Then in my early twenties I went through a phase when I was really into memoirs of colonial Africa, such as The Flame Trees of Thika and Out of Africa and Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight. Also, I read West with the Night by Beryl Markham, and for a long time a quote from that book was my personal mission statement: "It is no good anticipating regrets. Every tomorrow ought not to resemble every yesterday.”
As you may have guessed, I had a penchant for romance and adventure.
I'm currently reading Circling the Sun by Paula McLain, which is a novel about Beryl Markham. She grew up in Kenya in the early 1900s, where her father trained and bred racehorses. She became a trainer herself, and then become a pilot in the 1930s and was the first person to fly across the Atlantic east to west. Very Amelia Earhart, except no one has ever heard of her.
Sidenote: Paula McLain also wrote The Paris Wife, about Hemingway's first wife Hadley in Paris in the 1920s. It seems that Paula and I might have some things in common.
Sometimes I think the younger Kelly would be disappointed with how my life has ended up. It's so normal! And sometimes now I do have these moments of struggle to find the "adventure" in everyday life. But overall the current (and hopefully future) Kelly is pretty content with the way things are.
My current motto, from a poem by Marie Howe. A reminder to be present and grateful.
It's just fun to daydream about what it would have been like to live back then - Wherever, whenever, your particular back then might be. (Oh, I didn't mention Jane Austen time, That's another good one). Jonathan's vote is ancient Greece. My friend Megan would pick the Gilded Age in New York.
What about you???