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Paradise Found - Start Here

In 1996 my wife and I left the United States to work for a three-year stint in Frankfurt. That turned into a new job and a move to Switzerland. Twenty-five years, two kids, and a lifetime later, we returned to the U.S. once more. Is it the same place we left?
Paradise Found - Start Here

My wife and I are describing in the Paradise Found series what we are finding upon our return to the U.S. after 25 years away.

We were inspired to write about the changes wrought by time and perspective by Bill Bryson’s own series of essays, captured in his book I’m A Stranger Here Myself. He wrote his articles upon his own return to the U.S. after two decades living in the United Kingdom. Coincidentally, he returned to the United States in 1996, the year we left. Hence, we will take up where he left off.

How much do you think has changed since Bill Bryson wrote, and how much will we find is still the same? Read on if you want to see the U.S. through fresh eyes.

This table (updated January 2022) shows a few statistics I found interesting. In many ways, the U.S. and Switzerland are both remarkable success stories. Yet there have been divergences in the last 25 years, some dramatic. Why did this happen, and what clues does it hold for the future?