Running A Business While Traveling Isn't As Easy As They Say :)

Last Update: December 18, 2018


So I'm back from Thailand, and getting caught up with everything I let slide while I was on vacation. As I'm sitting here going through emails, and starting to edit content to publish this week, I'm thinking to myself, "Wow, running a business while traveling isn't as easy as the gurus make it out to be".

You've read all those headlines - "Work from a beach in Cancun". "Travel the world while your business is on autopilot!"

The truth is, it's very difficult to manage everything effectively, let alone grow, and ensure profitability for the future!

Yes, I was able to manage most of my Wealthy Affiliate tasks while on the road. Yes, I had some things scheduled to publish on my websites while I was away. But that was about it! I had to let a lot of things slide while I was on vacation.

On top of that, it was very difficult to work. Chairs were uncomfortable. Wifi was spotty. Motivation was in short supply after a long day of trekking, rafting, or bar hopping.

I had a great time in Thailand and Cambodia! However, I certainly could not run a business this way long term.

What's my point? I guess there's two bits of insight I want to share with you.

1. There's always room for improvement. Even though I'm making good money online, clearly I have a lot to do in terms of automating processes so that my business can run without me for longer periods of time.

2. When you're setting long terms goals, think about what you want your daily life to be like. It turns out, I'm not into the "travel guru" thing. I like to sit in my own house with a cup of coffee, on an ergonmic chair and a big screen iMac in a climate controlled room.

What's your ideal daily routine look like?

Pics From The Trip




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will37 Premium
Haha that picture of all you guys with all those dogs is a ripper!
looks like you had an awesome time.

Your honest about the topic is really great Nathan thanks for the post.

Hope you've been enjoying the big screen mac and climate control since you've been back : P

-chat soon

-Will
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Andrew888 Premium
I've traveled a lot over the years, but never worked while on the road. I'm over it now and prefer to just go somewhere nice and comfortable with all of the necessities for my WA business now. That means a comfortable desk and chair, fast WiFi and a great view from the window or balcony....
Cheers mate!
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AJTrimble1 Premium
That is the "dream" my wife and I are working on now. Once we get our business to a full-time level (we're close, but not quite there just yet), we plan on traveling the world with only a laptop and each other. lol
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JaneMahlehle Premium
Hey Nathaniel,
Truths and realities,
I guess we all get caught up in the excitement of being able to travel the world while making money. We forget that reality may be totally different from what we imagining and dreaming of.

I would prefer my comfortable home office!
Thanks for setting the record straight.
All the best
Jane.
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Mandarina Premium
I completely understand how you felt. I've been travelling for the past 3 years and I never worked on a beach with a coconut in my hand. Like you, I schedule posts and do as much as I can when I find wifi. I need to settle down :)

I looks like you had great fun on your travel!
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JamieFreedom Premium
Great post and pics! Good food for thought about the travel guru lifestyle. I've told myself that if I want to write and take photos while traveling the world, I better also be able to do it while I'm in my hometown, sleeping in my own comfy bed! Traveling is an awesome experience and something I enjoy greatly, but it's not always the easy peasy breezy lifestyle it's portrayed to be. Thanks for sharing your balanced approach.
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imthedamo Premium
That is what I love about this place you get the true dish. I completely agree, I love my little office and when I travel I travel and forget work except to check up on things. Does not surprise me though to hear this most all of the world of IM is Hype.
Damo
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Roybretton Premium
Thank you for your blog post-Nathanial, I hear you! I am fortunate to be able to go to Greece a few times a year as my wife originally comes from Greece, it's only three hours away from the UK. However, I do find it almost impossible to get anything done, the only real time I have to focus, is first thing in the morning, but the time soon goes!

I must admit if we go to the beach or go somewhere nice, there's a bit of reluctance to start working again!

It sounds like you had a great time Nathanial, sometimes I think it's just good if we can switch off totally, easier said than done sometimes though and not always practical!

Enjoy your day.

Roy
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AlexEvans Premium
They are awesome images it would have been an excellent vacation.

I have to agree with you, I started the week at the lakes fishing, had my little set up going, solar panel running the laptop and charging phones which were used as hot spots, then the battery decided to go on the blink along with the signal.

Game over, it sounds good in theory, not sure how some folks do it, laptops on a sandy beach sounds like a recipe for disaster.

Back to the drawing board for me, like you say something's we can do but not everything successfully.
Thanks for sharing your food for thought.
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nathaniell Premium
A solar panel running your laptop sounds pretty cool. Sounds like a good niche.
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AlexEvans Premium
Good point, hadn't thought about it, thank you.
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FKelso Premium
First of all, great pics!

Yes, I tend to agree with you -- I would rather be right here in my little office doing my WA tasks. When I plan to travel, I try to write posts ahead so can publish them while traveling. That helps, but you are right -- the distractions you face in a new place sometimes cut a big swath out of your WA time.

Automating -- yes, that's the way to go when you are big enough to do some of that. I'll get there. Meanwhile, will try to work mostly from home.
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nathaniell Premium
I'm a homebody too Fran!
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TDomena Premium
Those are some crazy looking trees! I've never seen anything like that! And, how did you get comfortable sitting with the wolves like that?
You made some great points about the contradictions that are so commonly spread. "Gurus" are always saying online business is "passive income" and after you post content and rank, the business is "on autopilot". It's good to have a more honest perspective. While it's a virtual business with a lot of perks, it's still work required consistently.
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nathaniell Premium
Haha. They weren't wolves - just huskies. Pretty close I guess :)
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tpchan Premium
Looks like you had a great vacation!

I can totally relate here. I went to Banff last week and thought to myself, I'll have time to work on an article when I get back to the hotel. Little did I know, when the time came I was too tired to even wanna work. I just wanted to relax and take in the day!

Well, I guess it's also because I traveled with a friend. Maybe if I traveled solo then I would actually have more motivation to work on my article... makes me wonder!
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nathaniell Premium
It's hard to fight that desire to relax when you really want to get something done, but also want to enjoy the vacation. Tough choice!
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tpchan Premium
I know! It's harder when traveling with friends.
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MichalB Premium
Cambodia is great!

I was there in 2013 and I really enjoyed it.
(even-though I had to spend about 30 hours in the bed because of Traveler's diarrhea)

Actually it is good to realize, that traveling and working in many cases do not go along that well.

Especially when you want to visit 3-4 places in 2 weeks.

I guess, I might be effective once I am at 1 place for about 10 days minimum:

First 6-7 days I am excited about the new place so I want to see as much as possible.
After like a week I might "calm down" and eventually concentrate on work.

Thanks Nathaniel
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AJTrimble1 Premium
I don't travel much (yet!), but I would imagine this would also be my challenge. I would want to spend all my time sightseeing rather than working, particularly that first week or so.

I have a friend who writes that will travel to another country, lock herself away in cottage or castle, and knock out a new novel in about a month or so. I don’t know how she does it. lol
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MichalB Premium
That is not a bad idea :)

Being away from all the distractions can tremendously increase the efficiency.

But I believe we need a mental balance as well. So a month would be too much :)
Mike
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nathaniell Premium
Oh man, I spent the last 3 days of vacation with some kind of food poisoning or stomach flu. Luckily I only had shopping planned, so ended up saving money LOL. I was miserable though, and was convinced they would quarantine me when I got back to the US. Lucky me I felt better by the time the plane took off.
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MichalB Premium
Good for you.

I remember, first hours of my "sickness" I was afraid I was having a malaria (that fear doubles with fever)

I recover quite fast though and 48 hrs later we were enjoying beach in Sihanoukville :)

I bet you had a great time anyways;)
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sgregcrx Premium
I run a Travel Website and try and do Live Blogs from my destinations as I travel. But as you say this is incredibly difficult.

If it wasn't for Jet Lag there would be no chance. Being wide awake at 4 am gives you plenty of time to get blogging but as that fades the work time diminishes.

My latest trip to New York I got almost nothing done. When traveling to L.A and Hawaii I was really productive early in the trip and it fell away to nothing as the jet lag faded.

I always go with the best intentions but after all, you are on holiday and are supposed to be enjoying the experience so blogging has to take a back seat especially when you are trying to pack as much in as possible to get the most out of your trip.

I guess people who are genuinely doing that full time can take the traveling easier to find time for business. I only had 5 days in New York, if I had 30 days I could easily take more time out of seeing the city to focus on work tasks!
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nathaniell Premium
Funny that you say Jet Lag is what helps you get things done. Most people hate it!

I've always admired people who can actually document their travels because it takes a lot of dedication to share the events, and not just sit back and enjoy them.
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sgregcrx Premium
It depends on the Direction. East to West is best as it means you are falling asleep at 8-9 pm, but you wake up 3/4 Am. And it is wide awake alert and ready, in place that is basically asleep.

There is not a lot to do other than blog, watch TV or take a walk in the dark.

Going West to East is horrible. Nothing gets done that way!

And Yeah My "live Blogs" tend to bleed into "a couple of weeks later" blogs lol
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AJTrimble1 Premium
Great story. You have definitely given me something to think about.

It doesn’t sound like the digital nomad lifestyle is quite as simple, or glamorous, as people like Tim Ferriss make it out to be.

My wife and I still intend on retiring and doing a lot of travel, but we will probably need to make sure everything is as automated as possible before leaving each time.

Thanks for the advice.
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nathaniell Premium
Keep automation in mind while building, and you won't have to go back and change a bunch of things. Build it smart from day 1 :)
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VictorF22 Premium
I don't want that life for sure. Not a hater but God bless you and give you all you look for my friend but I have reconsidered where I want to go with everything and this post makes more sense to me now than 4 months ago.

Thanks for sharing such a valuable point!
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nathaniell Premium
Thanks for reading Victor!
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Petra4 Premium
It is nice to see that you had a lovely time away and obviously a refreshing break.

Yes, going away and mixing business with pleasure it not what its cracked up to be and extremely hard work to begin with. It certainly would take a while to get used to it let alone scheduling your time :)

Welcome Back :)
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nathaniell Premium
If I had better habits, I could have got more done, but I'll try better next time!
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Petra4 Premium
At least you had a good break . . . welcome back to reality :)
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FlorenceKi Premium
So true... I was in Japan few weeks ago and tried to continue building my business. But the hotel that I stayed had very bad internet connection and yes, I was distracted with everything inside Shinjuku.

I still prefer to stay in my comfy living room with coffee and some cookies while writing content. But once a week I do go to one or two of my favorite cafe, sitting at my usual spot so it will be easier to get inspiration.

Working while travelling is not me!
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nathaniell Premium
Bad internet was the most frustrating experience. Sometimes, I could look, but couldn't "do", so I just had to let it go and say "I'll fix it when I get back."
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YumaBloggers Premium
Next time hire a Virtual Personal Assistant, at least for the time you are going to be gone and have them do many of those tasks, including following up with comments if you create them temporary authorship on the site etc.. They can definitely market and handle social media task etc.. to help grow your business and are the real secret to having a remote business operated in an hour a day from anywhere. You can't always be there, but that's a good thing as it forces you to think about tomorrow and who you will trust to help scale your business up when it gets too big for just you.
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Kyle Premium
Awesome pictures and awesome insight from someone that is actually doing it, not hypothetically trying to sell you on the idea of it!

I have realized the exact same thing, yes, you can manage aspects of your business on vacation, but you cannot BUILD your business while on vacation (unless you had a month in one spot where you could dedicate full days).

It is a catch 22, an online business allows you to travel when and where you want, but it also means that you will be working while away.

In saying all of this, there is nothing more invigorating than being ABLE to work from anywhere in the world, at any time of the day, from any location that you have wifi access and your laptop. I still have to pinch myself that this is the reality of running an online business.
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nathaniell Premium
Yeah, I like the idea of being in a spot for a longer period of time. It would be nice to actually own a couple places around the world and just follow the warm weather each season. Summer all year long baby!
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Crazyhaggis Premium
Glad you enjoyed your trip. I agree, it’s not so easy to work and travel. I have been wrestling with if I should continue to work next week when I go to Bali on holiday. Decided to have a break instead. For all the reasons you mention i.e., out of my work comfort zone and headspace. Also I believe it’s good to take a break now and then to clear your head. I joined WA in March this year and it’s been pretty full on.... learning and building a business. Time to take a breather, clear my head and set goals for next year.
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nathaniell Premium
Bali sounds great! Enjoy your vacation and your breather, then come back with renewed energy. I'm really enjoying work today after being gone for two weeks. It's a crazy feeling to actually enjoy your job!
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Crazyhaggis Premium
Sounds like the break worked for you!
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mistswitch Premium
I love the advice to think about what we want daily life to look like. I'm not much of a travel guru either. I travel two ways - ultralight with a tiny bag for a few exhausting days or very slowly by RV with everything, including the kitchen sink. Fast is for emergencies or obligations; slow is for fun. I think I need to really consider day to day though. I'm going to put it as a journal prompt for myself. Thanks!
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nathaniell Premium
Thanks for reading Ginger!
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ColleenLVSJC Premium
Yes, vacations are nice, but I'm with you on not being a travel bug, Nathaniel. Been there, done that. Hard to beat the home workspace and it's amenities. Sounds like you had a nice time. Great photos too.

My ultimate goal is also to automate my site as much as possible so I can focus on other things. Thanks for the post!
Colleen
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nathaniell Premium
Thanks for reading Colleen!
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MelaniLukito Premium
Thank you for sharing your insight, Nathaniell. Just want to remind myself how lucky I am that I must manage my time for the three things I love all of them: my family, my job, and Wealthy Affiliate activities. The article balance the temptation of going to the interesting places in the world and leave the traditional job.
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nathaniell Premium
Thanks for reading Melani!
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Swangirl Premium
I want to travel but I'm with you. I hate taking a computer (though new, lighter tablets would make that somewhat easier). I would rather work hard then set a few posts to post while I am gone and just LEAVE for a week or two and not think too much about it. I am not in a very customer service heavy niche, so I don't interact with my customers on a daily basis. Of course I should be able to answer questions but that is about it.

Amazon can handle the rest!
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nathaniell Premium
Yes, it's nice to have a "home base", and then vacation for a week or two at a time.
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wimone Premium
Been a long time and another life entirely (war) that brought me to Bangkok now almost 50 years ago. Amazing then as now I would suppose. Of course we are all envious of your ability to travel.....we all in one form or another wish we had been there. Angkor Wat in Cambodia was spectacular. The image of the massive strangler fig tree (?) is amazing And where is that Husky picture....not Thailand was it? Anyway we can live thru your stories if you feel obliged to tell a few.....like rafting the (? river)
Cheers...now back to work :))
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nathaniell Premium
I'm sure there's been lots of changes to Bangkok in 50 years. Would be interesting to see I bet!

Yes, the dog pic was from Bangkok. There's a cafe there known as the Husky Cafe where you can drink coffee with 30+ Huskies. It was my girlfriend's idea LOL
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TitaWorks Premium
Great insights. Loved the pictures....

-- Netta
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jlclayton1 Premium
I'm not the travel-the-world type person, I just want to have the time to enjoy my family, my animals, and my beautiful property. So I'll enjoy Thailand vicariously through your pictures, lol!

Glad you had a wonderful trip and made it safely back :)

Janelle
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nathaniell Premium
Family, animals, and property - that sounds good to me too!
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julesnp Premium
Thanks for sharing Nathaniel. Having spent a lot of time travelling abroad, I fully agree with you. As we say often: Failing to plan is planning to fail....but you did nothing close to failing....you really had a ball! Good for you and enjoy the rest of your holidays.

Jules
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nathaniell Premium
I got the basics done. Good enough for me! Next time I can improve a little :)
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HeidiY Premium
Sorry nothing of any quality to add but wow look at those dogs, just gorgeous :)
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nathaniell Premium
Haha. Husky Cafe!
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juanster2017 Premium
thanks for sharing this post it was great reading your about your travel experience
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nathaniell Premium
Thanks for reading!
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MThompson3 Premium
I knew you were going to have a great time. Batteries re-charged now, we are expecting great things(and tutorials) from you in 2019.

Love the dog pic.
Make a living, make a difference.

Mark
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nathaniell Premium
Yes. Batteries recharged! Now I just need to get over jet lag LOL
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MThompson3 Premium
The causes of jet lag are worth having it. I love, love, love to travel. They further the better.
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RussellO1 Premium
You live you learn. Love the pics though, especially the one with the dogs.
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nathaniell Premium
That pic seems to be a fan-favorite after reading these comments :)
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Dale123 Premium
"It turns out, I'm not into the "travel guru" thing. I like to sit in my own house with a cup of coffee, on an ergonomic chair"

I feel ya, 100% lol. Trip looked a blast though, great pics.
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nathaniell Premium
It was a blast! I didn't even include the skydiving pics because I couldn't take my phone on the plane LOL
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Dale123 Premium
Ahh no way, that kinda sucks. I need to get myself over to Thailand, never been but lately I've had SO many people telling me about the awesome times they've had there. Just the flight time that's held me back... One day though :)
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dpanic63 Premium
Thanks for sharing

This post definitely speaks to me because one of my end goals is to be operating my business from Thailand

But it would be different for I would own a piece of property and have a sister office to the one I have in Canada

But along the way streamlining the process is definitely a viable option as long as it is not taking away from the value you are bringing to your traffic.

Thanks for sharing and am glad you enjoyed your visit

Cheers

Dino
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nathaniell Premium
If you operate your business from Thailand, you'll save tons of money on the cost of living as well!
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Crazyhaggis Premium
I live in Thailand and operate my businesses from here. It is cheaper but don’t be fooled, it’s not all easy. I’m actually planning to go back to Australia in a couple of years.....
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dpanic63 Premium
Wow nice to know

You should PM me and fill me in in your experiences.

Cheers
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RD40 Premium
Awesome pics Nathaniel! I would probably agree, because for me, I need complete and total focus when working the business. I'm easily distracted so figuring out how to automate my business is something I've kept in the back of my mind like you mentioned.
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nathaniell Premium
I need the focus as well. Hard to do it on the road, especially with energy levels!
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