Oooo I love this thread! 🙂 I think about these things often…knowing enough to live in the era was always kind of my threshold for studying history. Somethings to keep in mind…
-In modern history (post-Renaissance), it’s always best politically, for a woman to be a widow. Assuming you’ve lost your family in this time travel experience, it gives you an out to kind of talk about your past, but for anytime before about 1880, in America or the British Empire, a widow would be allowed many freedoms an unwed woman would not, namely the rights to own land, own personal property, in some cases use currency or deal with banks, in some cases practice medicine…basically to have any public identity.
-As a woman you’d have to be wary about disclosing that you could read if you were not in the United States. From Plymouth onward, American woman were at least taught to read and cypher to keep household books, especially in Puritan communities.
-Don’t tell anyone you can swim. Sailors know how to swim, backwoods guides know how to swim, women of decent standing do not unless they were being raised in an extremely hot climate, such as India or Barbados.
-Polite women keep their hair tied up.
-You best out for short hair, scandelous clothes, tattoos, or piercings would be to claim yourself victims of “natives” or “mongols” depending on your locale.
I think I could probably manage anywhere post-Renaisance in the (former) British Empire. As for the linear/changing history debate…I’ve always thought of time as similar to stratified rock, one layer built on top of another. If you mine or change a small bit, the rock above will shift very little, if at all. If you were to dig a huge hole, the wall would collapse inward soon or later in places it wouldn’t have otherwise and cause all kinds of dramatic changes.