Stephen Manson was in the U.S. Army, 82nd Airborne, 505 Battle Group, from January 1958 to January 1961. He was stationed in Mainz, Germany for two years, but traveled around in Germany for most of that time on a rifle team. He shot the BAR [Browning Automatic Rifle] and won all of the matches and then was sent to Ft. Benning, Georgia to shoot against every other finalist, in the United States Army. Some were from Alaska, Korea and other places where American troops were stationed. His team from Germany, which consisted of 5 teams of 2 persons each, won the first 5 places in the matches.
After working for five years in the United States, he went to Denmark and lived there for five years and Norway for nine months. In 1987 he bought a house in Spain. He and his wife visited there many times and from 2012 to 2017 they lived there for those five years. The Nordic countries especially gave him the ideas for this book. Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland have high taxes and disagreeable weather, but they are the happiest people in the world according to the United Nations yearly reports.