Yes, you could write "return to the past," but your
English reader would wonder why you are being so maudlin. The reason is that returning to the past is saying that you are resurrecting something in order to
relive your memories. The colloquialism, turn the clock back, is better. It gives the
impression that you only want to momentarily think about something in the past. It is
a matter of taste but turn the clock back is acceptable in a formal piece of writing as well as return to the past.