The Ultimate Time Traveler’s Guide to the Year 2020

Dear time traveler,

Pardon my rudeness but: You’ve got to be *bleep* kidding me! Why would you want to travel to 2020, unless it’s for some form of cosmic punishment?

In the future, have prisons been replaced with a one-way trip to April 2020?

Has a clever consulting firm—one of the Big Four, if they still exist—found some savings potential by realizing that governments—do governments still exist?—don’t need to spend money on prisons when historical lockdowns would do the trick just fine?

We will never know, or will we? I’m sure some rules are preventing you from disclosing that information to us.

Well, thankfully we are more generous and forthcoming with our information about our time period. So, here you go…

12 rules to abide by when time traveling to 2020:

#1:  Don’t! There are many great periods in time. 2020 ain’t it. That’s universally agreed upon.

#2: See Rule #1.

#3: Still not convinced? See Rule #1, then see a historian.

#4: You're a stubborn one, aren't you? See Rule #1, then see a therapist. (Do therapists still exist when you’re from or have they given up on you?)

#5. Fine. If you still want to come, bring masks. Lots and lots of them. And toilet paper. If 2020 was a party, it would state BYOTP (Bring Your Own Toilet Paper) on the invitation.

#6: Also, a pet might help. You can get them in 2020. They’re less rare than toilet paper. They look like this:

#7: For entertainment (or what passes for entertainment in 2020), you will also need access to Netflix. I don’t know if that still exists when you’re from but it’s basically like a woke library. For movies. And series. And documentaries. To access it, you will need to buy a subscription. Or just do what everyone else does in our time period and mooch of on your family’s—oh, wait, you have no family in 2020 that knows you exist, right?—well, mooch of on someone else’s account. I’m happy to trade my parents-in-law’s Netflix password for information about the future. Deal?

#8: Oh, I almost forgot the most important part. Bring a vaccine. Please tell me they have a vaccine where you’re from!? I've watched enough sci-fi to know it might break the time-space continuum… but you’ll get guaranteed, world-wide fame, a Nobel Prize, and a place in the (new and improved) history books! C’mon, just do it! I know you want to…

#9: Seriously, please reconsider your stance of Rule No. 7. What good is time travel if you can’t help a brother/sister/non-binary human sibling out?

#10: While you’re at it with fixing the 2020 timeline, I’ve prepared a list of other historical situations that require remediation. It should just take *checks notes* 893,794,303,038,892 years to fix it. But hey, you have a time ship, don’t you? You can still be back home for dinner!

#11: While you’re fixing the timeline, please take care to not screw anything up, would you?

#12: Wait a minute… is this whole mess your fault in the first place??? You *bleep* *BLEEP* *BLEEEP BLEEEP BLEEEP*! *&@#^*@&#*&*&(*%&%*&%*&(%**!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Deep breath in, deep breath out.

Person holding a writing feather


Dear 2182, Please keep your irresponsible lunatics (we have enough of them) time delinquents.

I don’t care what you have to do with them, just build a prison or something. (We can send blueprints.)

May I remind you that we have a strict “take no prisoners from other time periods” policy here?

Also, we can’t guarantee your time delinquents’ safety. Word has gotten out that they’re responsible for the pandemic (well, in addition to everyone in our time period who could have done something to prevent pandemics but studiously ignored experts who warned about it).

Sincerely, 2020P.S.: Is it a crime to strangle someone who technically doesn’t exist in your time period?  Asking for a friend (about 7 billion of them).

P.P.S.: When you pick up your people, can I hitch a ride and get out of here, too? (Someone responsible has to deliver the blueprints, after all...)

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Louise is the founder of Leader for Good. She's a former lawyer and academic who moved from Germany to the United States where she started her own business. Today, Louise loves helping her coaching clients and students connect with their passion and purpose. You can find out more about her coaching business at
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