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Parenting whilst nomads


by @figoshow | 3yr  | 13 comments

My wife and I are both nomadic performers traveling the world full time for the last 10 years, we tend to stay in a place for around 3 months then move on. We are about to have our first kid, our main concern is how our kid is going to make friends and build relationships being nomadic, How do you deal with this and help your kids with this aspect of our lifestyle.

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@swaploftaustin | 3yr

Thanks for all of this advice and for the links - We just had our first Son and want to also continue our Digital Nomad styles and take advantage of the unique state of the world right now where you really can live anywhere and still be productive as long as you have an internet connection. We are also planning on moving slow country to country - we have a lot to research still but we are ready to challenge the deeply held belief most have that kids = the end of your travelling. Our little guy is the most important thing though so we will monitor his development and adjust accordingly - that is the true benefit of having the ability to work anywhere - we can decide what is best for our family instead of a random employer. This is my first day on this site and I have already gotten a ton from just this message thread - good luck to all of you traveling parents out there!

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@ds | 3yr

I take base my four kids somewhere in the world for 2 years. Then return to the home town for years. Then go away again for two years. All the time I try to take one child every 4 to 6 months on a short busines journey so it is just them and I.

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@travelingpm | 3yr

Hey guys! Itโ€™s always exciting to hear of nomads continuing their journey when they decide to have kids. My wife and I have been expats since 2011 and in 2013 we decided to have our first child. This was in Luxembourg, but since then weโ€™ve lived in South Africa, Thailand, Hungary, Croatia, and Mexico and have traveled to 9 other countries with him. We wouldnโ€™t choose any other lifestyle.

The nomad family network is strong. We have facebook groups, world schooling events, and even our own platform is budding thanks to Gawin (nomadfamily.io). I would suggest picking up a copy of โ€œThird Culture Kidsโ€ which covers some of the challenges that kids have to overcome being raised in a culture other than their own. I identify as a TCK and the benefits far outweigh the challenges. Building relationships is important, but there are ways to overcome this. In every location, our son attends a local preschool and plays with expat kids. We try to maintain these ties and have even met up with the same families in multiple locations. Families with older children tend to maintain relationships digitally as needed, whether thatโ€™s via Skype calls or video games. Granted, this isnโ€™t as good as the real thing but these children are also experiencing the world in a way that few will in their lifetime.

3 Months in each location is my preference and our son seems to be fine with the pace. My wife was raised in a small town for most of her life and prefers staying in a place for 6mo-1yr. Last year we did nine countries, but stayed in four for 2-3 months each. This was a bit much to be honest. You may find that when the little one comes along, youโ€™ll want to slow your roll a bit. One thing that really helps us is having a โ€œlanding listโ€ - a checklist of things you need to settle in and revert to your work routine after each move. We have a blog post about this here: http://theluxpats.com/2016/08/nomad-landing-plan/

Hope this is helpful. If you have any other questions feel free to reach out to us. Happy to jump on a call or message privately with further details.

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@greentea | 3yr

I love hearing the details of this, thank you for sharing.

figoshow, as long as youโ€™re not staying exclusively in a culture-free xenophobe zone like the US, you should be fine. Especially during the first few years. The first few years (up to, Iโ€™d say, around 6 or 7) is a TREMENDOUS time to take a child across the world! Their brains soak up everything. Its a wondrous time.

But keep close observation of their development as a human being. If they are noticeably thriving out there in the world, then keep doing what youโ€™re doing.

Evaluate your lifestyle once they reach the age where they start โ€œremembering peopleโ€. You may need to stop traveling. Or travel with a group they can grow with. Have a peer group of some kind, with regular check-ins and outings, so there is some sense of continuity and camaraderie over time.

Our 12 year old has experienced profound regrets and sadness over the loss of kinship. Heโ€™s spend most of his life traveling. He displays many symptoms of severe depression over growing up isolated. Now heโ€™s at the end of his childhood. He doesnโ€™t have anything but a scattered handful of memories with children he played with once or twice, who have their own established local friends and probably donโ€™t remember him. There are a few other homeschool/worldschool/traveling families we keep in touch with, but its occasional, its contrived, its bullshit, really. For a child, my observation is that the โ€œinternet experienceโ€ of a friend is a vapid hologram lacking multidimensional human expression compared to a real life friendship. Many of who he calls โ€œfriendsโ€ are shitheads on Playstation Network. I think he really would have benefitted from a slower pace.

I would have rather had him in a boarding school while mum & dad & fam were without address traveling for medical care etc. Its crushing to think about. But it is what it is. These are the hard decisions of parenting, and donโ€™t trod into them lightly. Watch your kid. If they are thriving, if they are cradled in a cocoon of loving, healthy humans of all generations who know them, love them, and will treat them as their own, then that is a GOOD thing. But donโ€™t bullshit yourself. Do whatโ€™s right for the kid.

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@markbrooks | 3yr

Well said. Kids need attachment, and deep friendships and consistency. I think having a base for 6 months a year at least and then taking cultural immersions is a healthy balance.

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@borowis | 3yr

thanks for sharing, thatโ€™s a terrific answer. I thought we would have to slow down once we hit the school age

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@gawin | 3yr

We are traveling with our 2-year-old daughter. We have talked to a lot of traveling families, done a fair amount of research and have had long discussions with several child psychologists (and psychoanalysts/psychotherapists etc) on this exact topic. Iโ€™m not a writer, otherwise, I could have written a book on this subject :wink:

There isnโ€™t a silver bullet or a โ€˜rightโ€™ answer to your question.
Itโ€™s up to you and your family to discover that works for you guys.

Maintaining a meaningful and long-term friendship while traveling is just as challenging for kids as it is for their adults. For some it comes easy, for others, it remains a challenge.
It takes two to tango, so if both parties are willing to invest in maintaining the relationship the distance doesnโ€™t matter, it does help to meet face-to-face every once in a while.

Question: After 10 years of traveling, how do you maintain long-term friendships yourself?

Kids have this magical ability to create friends instantly. They are also good in breaking up, and then 30 min later being best friends again. Depending on their (and your) character a Nomadic lifestyle might fit excellent, or you might need to consider a more permanent home base.

Itโ€™s excellent that you are already staying longer periods (3 months+) in one place, we personally prefer slow traveling with our family (as do most families).

There are a lot of different ways to travel, there are families that travel in groups (for example with a group of sailing boats). I read in your profile that you were circus performers, which sometimes also travel longer periods with the same group of people. This sure makes it easier to keep the same friends. Also returning to the same place several times helps in maintaining friendships. There are a lot of children of expats that struggle with their identity and calling a place โ€˜homeโ€™.

Question: What is home for you, and more importantly, what do you want โ€˜homeโ€™ to be for your children?

Another thing you might want to consider is stability. How do you provide a stable environment? For us having standard rituals, like a bedtime ritual helps a lot. The house, room, and bed might be different, but reading a bedtime story every night from the same books always comes after we brushed our teeth. Children need be loved and protected while having room to fail and explore. They also need to have structure and clarity to feel safe and secure.

Traveling and raising a family isnโ€™t always easy. It can be quite demanding for everybody, not only for the parents.

That being said, we really love traveling with our family and have learned things we otherwise would have never learned. Not only about the world, other cultures and people, but also about ourselves. We are really grateful for al the wonderful people we met so far and hope we can continue our Nomadic lifestyle for a very long time.

Iโ€™d be more than happy to answer any other related questions you might have.

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@figoshow | 3yr

wow that was an awesome response thank you so much, i think right now all we needed was reassurance that we werenโ€™t breaking our kid before we started, we are going into this with our eyes wide open and know that itโ€™s going to be hard, but itโ€™s going to be hard no matter what so why not have an adventure into the bargain. as it is settling down isnโ€™t an option for us as money needs to be earned, we are lucky that our life and our work are both things that we love we just want to make sure our kid has the best possible childhood they can.

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@gawin | 3yr

Parenting in itself isnโ€™t for everyone. As for every parent, learning to listen and communicate with your child is a whole journey in itself. Kids tend to protect their parents at their cost, sometimes hiding their true feelings. Learning to detect those signals wonโ€™t be easy. Since traveling can be stressful you might want to give extra attention to that.

When two become three, you need to consider what is best for all of you, including your child. Figuring out โ€˜what is bestโ€™ is a difficult challenge. Like beauty, it is in the eye of the beholder.

Our kids can only succeed if we allow ourselves to fail, thatโ€™s how they learn. Kids that grow up in a perfect protected world will need a lot of help standing on their on feet in their adult life. Same the other way around, too much exposure to trauma will do them more harm than good. As parents, it is up to us to provide that balance between protection and exposure.

Please keep in mind that if settling down isnโ€™t an option right now, you might want to consider becoming agile enough so that, if it is really necessary, you โ€˜couldโ€™ settle down in the future.

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@mule5 | 3yr

Wow, nomadic for 10 years sounds great, I am jealous. We were on/off nomads for a number of years, even having our son while travelling to Brazil, but have been full time nomadic since last December. We have 3 kids, but they are older [13, 13, 8] and school remotely already. As for socializing, they make friends everywhere we go, playgrounds, pools, out and about, but I can understand itโ€™s not a traditional friendship like I had while growing up in one location. Unfortunately I think the kids grow up quicker while travelling as they have less of the care free childhood that theyโ€™d have at home, stationary, and in their own comfort zone of a friendship group or clique. But that may just be my own perception of the differences. We still socialize them, sometimes too much as they are so comfortable around adults, they want to always be included in outings above their age group. We also still make them do things they donโ€™t want to always do, like go outside to play when itโ€™s hot out. Ha! I tell them that I used to be outside all summer long, and they canโ€™t imagine it. Just a different time, different world then. As for having your first kid soon, congratulations, youโ€™ll have plenty of time to figure all that out once they become more independent. You might not need to change much for the near term. You maybe have another 2 years before then. :wink: With all your travel experiences, I am sure you know the best places to visit for the social interactions and possibly slowing down a bit to give them the relationship building experiences, if not stopping to setup some roots.

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@figoshow | 3yr

Thank you, and thanks for responding, I think our main concern is raising the nomadic equivalent of an army kid, always on the move and not being able to build those important friendships, my wife was quite distraught when reading about an army kid who, now in their 50โ€™s, had kept a party favor from a birthday party they went to when they were 8 because it was the only thing they had to show they had a friend as a child. A heart-breaking story and 1 we would never want for our kid. how do you encourage your kids to maintain the friendships they make? do you try and help by creating play dates or trying to socialise with the other kids parents?

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@jcw | 3yr

We have kids but moved back home when the eldest was 4 but weโ€™d been stationary but living abroad prior to that.

I couldnโ€™t imagine how unoptimal (for want of a better word) it would be for a kid to grow up without the friendships that develop overtime, from being in one place.

I think itโ€™s too much to sacrifice in exchange for your โ€˜freedomโ€™ of being nomadic.

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@mule5 | 3yr

That is a sad story. :frowning:
We encourage the kids to keep in touch, but they donโ€™t need much help from us. They have pen pals from all over, since they always exchange email addresses first thing it seems. They do video calls, hangouts, texts and such all the time with friends from all over the place. Itโ€™s amazing the bonds they make quickly and easily. We facilitate all play dates and outings. :slight_smile: Their happiness makes it easier for us to live in happiness too. :wink:

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Read and participate in 13,931 discussions on Nomad List

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Any nomads working on startups?

 

by @mattlock | 3mo 2 months ago | 33 comments

Hoping to see all the cool stuff people are working on while they live an extraordinary life.

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Does international health insurance for digital nomads exist?

 

by @al_steffen | 4mo 3 months ago | 59 comments

Hey Nomads!

Iโ€™m looking for an international health insurance (no travel insurance) for my nomadic life. It should cover the basic services and at least be accepted in the EU (itโ€™s ok if itโ€™s not accepted in the US as Iโ€™m aware they rarely are). Nice to have: enter into a contract online. Anyone got a good experience or a recommendation?

Thanks in advance!

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How do digital nomads pay tax?


by @rodriigovieira | 5mo 5 months ago | 19 comments

Hello everyone! Iโ€™m new here and probably this is a very newbie question, but it doesnโ€™t leave my head.

How do you, nomads, pay your taxes? I mean, if youโ€™re constantly traveling, how are you going to pay taxes for a certain country if you are going to stay there a short period of time?
Or do you return to your โ€œoriginal countryโ€ and then pay them?

By the way, this forum has very nice cool formatting features! :smile:

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Anyone know an accountant for Canadian nomads/expats?


by @noam_lightstone | 6mo 6 months ago | 16 comments

Hey guys, this was my first year as a Canadian nomad.

As far as I know of, Canadians donโ€™t pay taxes if they do not live in the country for 6 months.

But Iโ€™d like to talk to an accountant or someone who does Canadian taxes specifically for expats and nomads to get clear on the rules and for help on my return coming up.

Does anyone know someone who specializes in Canada who can help? Iโ€™ve seen plenty of US recommendations but none for us canucks.

Thanks guys!

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Where are the nomads in Mexico City?


in Mexico City, Mexico by @shellyfish | 8mo 7 months ago | 9 comments

I just landed as a n00b digital nomad in Mexico City, and I am wonderingโ€ฆ Where are all the international digital nomads hiding around here? I have been to several coworking spaces (Selina etc.) only to find A LOT of local Mexican workers and businesses. Donโ€™t get me wrong, that is all fine, but I was hoping to meet some international nomads! Any advice?

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How do we solve housing for digital nomads?

 

by @levelsio | 8mo 7 months ago | 61 comments

Thereโ€™s been a lot of discussion on this recently.

Nomads usually stay in hostels, hotels and short-term apartments. But itโ€™s all not very optimal.

Iโ€™ve heard people suggest getting funding and building a network of houses you can stay at for a subscription price (e.g. Bruno Haid is working on that).

I donโ€™t want do physical stuff, so Iโ€™m thinking of building a platform around making housing better for nomads.

What are the housing problems nomads face? And how can we solve them with products/services?

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App/tool/service for nomads to bring things from another country?


by @brmolin | 9mo 9 months ago | 4 comments

I vaguely remember hearing about such a service before, but Iโ€™m drawing a blank on the name. Basically I left my tablet on a connecting flight in Europe, right before my main flight to Thailand. They have my tablet and are willing to ship it out for me, but people have warned me thereโ€™s a big risk of it getting โ€œlost in the mailโ€ if I ship something expensive like that to Thailand.

Iโ€™m wondering if thereโ€™s a service or community, where I can find a nomad whoโ€™s in Europe/heading to Thailand soon, so I can have it shipped to them in Europe and pay them to ferry it down here for me? I met someone in Budapest a ways back who had built something for this type of use-case, but I canโ€™t remember the name of it. Any help would be appreciated!

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Are there any nomads from India?

 

in India by @ankitdas123 | 9mo 9 months ago | 56 comments

I have seen a lot of posts from different people across the world, but not even a single post from someone in India, who has been a nomad, either living within the country or traveling to another one.

Would definitely love to hear stories from such people. We are a couple traveling as social nomads who are trying to bridge the gap between the rural and urban societies in India. We have started out very humble and do not have much resources, so looking out for help from the community.

Ankit & Rishika
Around Love and Life

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How is Sicily for digital nomads?


by @gaelm | 9mo 9 months ago | 15 comments

Hi all, I was looking for a cool spot in Southern Europe for winter and Iโ€™m considering Sicilyโ€ฆ Have you ever been there? If yes, how was your experience? If not, why?
thanks!

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How is Bari, Italy for digital nomads?


in Bari, Italy by @mitch_dina | 9mo 9 months ago | 7 comments

Greetings!
Does anyone have experience in Bari, Italy please? We are thinking of going from Dubrovnik, Croatia to Bari by boat in mid-March. Has anyone taken a boat across? Is it nice or can it be choppy? (We are trying to avoid planes, to reduce our carbon footprint, so adding more surface travel.) Also, any info you might be able to offer about Bari and the surrounds? Next step will likely be trains up Italy as the Spring progresses.

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How is Mauritius for digital nomads?


in Mauritius by @wakkos | 10mo 10 months ago | 14 comments

Hello all,

Iโ€™m planning on spending a couple of month in Mauritius Island and even when Iโ€™ve been there for a week, never rented or worked there.

Does anyone here has tips or experience to share about Mauritius?

Cheers!

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Best way to connect with "local" nomads using Nomadlist?


by @migueltic | 11mo 10 months ago | 4 comments

Hi, Iโ€™ve seen that Nomad List offers different options that could work for connecting with other nomads that are in the same place as me (forum, Slack, user maps, matches and maybe even more options I havenโ€™t seen), but Iโ€™m not sure what is the best/recommended way to use all these options.

Should I use all of them? Start with a message in the forum and/or Slack?

Sending private messages to a lot of people feels a little bit โ€œaggressiveโ€. And matches are not based on current location if I understood it correctly.

By the way, I just arrived at Budapest :slight_smile:

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Best American phone carrier for nomads


by @tylertringas | 11mo 10 months ago | 12 comments

Iโ€™m surprised this isnโ€™t anywhere on the forum yet. But just a pro tip for Americans about to start a nomad adventure. T-mobile offers unlimited SMS & data in 120 countries for FREE with any of their (already pretty cheap) plans. Itโ€™s ideal if you plan to be back in the US for any part of the year, but I honestly would consider it even if youโ€™re going to be entirely out of the country.

You get bumped down to much slower 3G speeds, but itโ€™s free and works as soon as you land. Can be super helpful before youโ€™ve sorted yourself out with a local SIM. I usually keep my T-mobile SIM in my iPhone all the time and then buy a local SIM and drop it in my pocket wifi for both laptop and iPhone when needed. I keep my local US number and just use it (itโ€™s like $0.05/min in most places) for important clients calls so they donโ€™t have to bother with Skype.

Iโ€™m not affiliated at all, just a happy customer. Anybody found a better deal worth mentioning?

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Property Ownership - should digital nomads buy properties?


by @sparrow_23 | 1yr 1 year ago | 16 comments

I have been a digital nomad for the last couple of years. I have always worked in tech and now run a couple of profitable online businesses that give me a reliable income and allow me to fund a nomadic lifestyle.

I recently exited one of my businesses and I am considering to invest the income from the sale in properties, mainly for 2 reasons:

a) I donโ€™t want to keep wasting my money in renting apartments across the cities I stay

b) I believe in properties as investment and I want to diversify my investment portfolio (mainly stocks)

After years of constant wander from one place to another, now I am the type of digital nomad who sticks to few locations: I mainly rotate across 4 places each year (San Francisco, Medellin, Berlin, Bali). Buying a house in each of those location would be difficult and too expensive. Therefore, I was wondering if there was any sort of service that combines an investment opportunity with the ability to access different properties around the world (even if just for a limited time per year) ?

Imagine living in 4 cities per year and having a house in each place that you can exclusively use for 3 months and at the same time having your investment growing (this depending on the market, of course). Wouldnโ€™t that be great? I believe it could be done via a property fund selling you a share and giving you access to some of their properties for a limited timeframe each year.

Has anyone heard of anything like that?

Thanks!

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Apple TV and Netflix: Do these work for Nomads?


by @lricci | 1yr 1 year ago | 8 comments

We launch in 2 weeks. In the US, we use Apple TV and Netflix regularly. Do these work abroad?

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Do any digital nomads travely solely by motorcycle?


by @fraserdeans | 1yr 1 year ago | 10 comments

Last summer I spent some time travelling through Thailand and Cambodia and jumped on mopeds to get around. I fell in love with them, the freedom, the ability to get off the tourist trail and see areas of a country not written about in tour books.

Recently a friend of mine cycled from London through Western Europe down to Morocco. His journey, stories and photo blog have all inspired me to see Europe by road rather than missing it all by plane.

Iโ€™ve been encouraged to do the same longer term through Europe. Next month Iโ€™m heading off to Spain to start that journey.

I was wondering if any nomads here are on similar journeys? Does anyone motorcycle between cities setting up to work for a couple weeks then moving on?

If so, have you got any advice/tips for someone just starting that journey?

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Any nomads in Budapest want to grab a drink?


in Budapest, Hungary by @worldtravel | 1yr 1 year ago | 7 comments

Iโ€™m in Budapest for the next 3 weeks. any nomads want to grab a drink?

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What's the best mobile-data option in New Zealand for nomads?


in New Zealand by @goldsaj | 2yr 1 year ago | 2 comments

Hi All! Iโ€™ve heard Spark and Vodafone are the best. I plan to move around, so I care mostly about having good coverage, and all Iโ€™ll need is around 1 GB of data or so.

Any suggestions?

Thanks!

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Is Three's 'Go Roam' package any good for British nomads?


by @alexnapierholland | 2yr 1 year ago | 2 comments

Hey, Three in the UK offer a โ€˜Go Roamโ€™ package that - at first glance - looks good for nomads.

It essentially promises data use abroad, up to 12GB,

Iโ€™d link to Threeโ€™s FAQ for Go Roam, but as Iโ€™m a new user I canโ€™t.

Bali/Indonesia and Australia are both included, which are top destinations for me.

Thailand is not, which may be annoying.

I could do with a new iPhone before I leave for Bali again in January and as Iโ€™ve been launching a new business, am a bit short on cash.

Unsure if this is a good solution, or if it makes more sense to sit-it-out on my iPhone 6 until I can buy an iPhone XS Max with cash and stick whatever SIM I want in it.

What do you guys think?

Cheers!

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London meet-ups / events / places to meet nomads?


in London, United Kingdom by @jameswander | 2yr 1 year ago | 5 comments

Are there any regular meet-ups or other places to meet nomads in London?

This was the only nomad focused event I saw on meetup.com:
https://www.meetup.com/meetup-group-BNBrelBl/events/252398877/

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