As two curious people by nature, Chris and I find that travel is a means to satiate our hunger for discovery and exploration. That being said, there is one form of travel that we haven’t been able to accomplish yet: time travel.

Who hasn’t wanted a time machine at one point in their lives? Whether it is to have a second chance at that horrific first date or to witness an event that changed history, there are certain points in our lives where a time machine would prove extremely useful. With the upcoming launch of DreamWorks‘ new movie, Mr. Peabody and Sherman, we’ve been able to reflect on how we would use the ingenious WABAC (pronounced “way-back”) machine. What’s the WABAC, you ask? Take a look at the trailer for Mr. Peabody & Sherman to find out.

While Chris and I certainly wouldn’t want to re-write history, we would love to use the WABAC to witness a few key events in person. We could solve the ancient mystery of Stonehenge, discover how the Moai statues on Easter Island got to their final resting place, or even figure our why the Incas deserted Machu Picchu.

Along the way, we could remember these fantastic voyages with some souvenirs. With time travel we would have to be a little careful about what we took, but here are a few time-travel souvenirs we think almost anyone would enjoy.

For the art collector

A trip to Spain is never a bad idea. Aside from gorging ourselves on tapas and browsing the local shops, a stop to visit Pablo Picasso might result in one of the best souvenirs imaginable. As fans of Picasso’s Blue Period, a trip back to 1903 would best be remembered with a painting or sketch from the prolific artist. Imagine the clout we would get if we brought back a signed Picasso, handed to us straight from the creative genius himself.

Taking the WABAC further back in time would have us visiting the realm of the Italian Renaissance. A trip to Florence would be in order to watch Leonardo da Vinci paint the iconic Mona Lisa. Seeing the painting unfold before us might help us understand what was behind her shy smirk. (Was the artist painting in the buff?)

Known for his curiosity and imagination, da Vinci would be the ideal dinner companion. We could discuss the intricacies of his painting, The Last Supper, while enjoying dinner. A sketch or two from the artist would be a great gift to bring back to any admiring fan. Imagine the stories we could tell…

Viewfinder Tip: When buying souvenirs, seek items that are affordable, meaningful and easy to transport home.

For the reader

One author we would love to travel back in time to visit would be the “father” of modern fantasy literature, J.R.R. Tolkien. To sit at a table with him, discuss his characters, revel in his imagination, or even help him make up a new language would be the pinnacle of our lives. Elves, orcs, and Middle Earth would be the topic of our conversation and as true fans, we would hope to walk away with an autographed copy of one of his novels.

Trading in wizards for whiskey, we would also like to have a drink with E.E. Cummings and see if he spoke the same way he wrote. Pouring over his poems and asking him what made him want to ignore syntax and conventional grammar would be an evening to remember. As with Tolkien, an autographed copy of one of his poems would be the perfect addition to our bookshelf.

 

For the drinker

What better souvenir to bring home from a night with Napoleon than a bottle of brandy? Perhaps a 1795 Brugerolle that was carted along with the troops as they waged war against Britain and Austria? While we might not stay for any battles (we’re lovers, not fighters), the brandy (from Cognac!) would be a taste of history that is hard to find in liquor stores these days. Sealed with dripping wax, these bottles are probably best as conversation starters, although a little sip here and there won’t hurt anyone.

Another boozy souvenir from one of the greatest recovery missions in history might be a bottle or two of Whyte & Mackay whiskey. This was the booze found in the base camp of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s infamous expedition to the Antarctic. While we wouldn’t be spending an exceptional amount of time on the freezing tundra, these bottles would make great souvenirs for fans of the great explorer. If it was good enough for Shackleton, it’s good enough for us.

There are really no limitations when it comes to time travel souvenirs. Sketches and ideas from the Orwell brothers or Ben Franklin would look great on any desk at work. Nor would we turn our heads to a few articles of clothing from the 1970s. (Vintage is so “in” right now, after all.) Collecting souvenirs is one of our favorite pastimes when we travel today. Collecting souvenirs from throughout history would be even better.

What would you bring back from your adventures through time?