EuroTribe

your guide to Europe off the beaten path

How To Start a Travel Blog And Make Money

Travel blogging with all its perks seems attractive but it takes a lot of sacrifice and work before you reach that level of cool. It will probably take you a couple…

Travel blogging with all its perks seems attractive but it takes a lot of sacrifice and work before you reach that level of cool. It will probably take you a couple of years before you can call it a success but the key is to be persistent!

Starting a blog is fairly easy. I use WordPress and I recommend this platform to anyone.

However, if you want to get serious with blogging it will take a lot more than just signing up for a free account on WordPress. Here’s EuroTribe’s step by step guide on how to start a travel blog and make money;

Think of a Name

People often ask me what is a good name for their blog and that question has more than one answer. Nowadays many good domain names are already taken so this has to be taken into account. What you want may already be taken. My friends screamed in horror when all the names they could think of were already taken.

That’s why it’s really important to secure your name earlier, even though you may not start blogging immediately!

What’s the secret sauce for a good domain name? It has to be short and easy to remember! Yet, this will be difficult. You’ll need to do a lot of brainstorming.

Also think about the niche and what you want to write about. Avoid making a generic travel blog, there are thousands of them on the internet and it’s very difficult to break through in this field with such name. You know names such as ‘Nomadic-this’ or ‘Adventure-that’.

Thesaurus is a really helpful website when brainstorming site’s name. If your domain is taken, Thesaurus will show you a list of synonyms of your desired word and perhaps give you an alternative.

Avoid numbers and hyphens as this may lead to errors when typing.

Buy Domain and Hosting

So the next step is securing your name and buying hosting.

Hosting means buying the space on internet where you will store your blog’s data. You can get both through Lunarpages.

If you are just starting out get a domain and hosting from the same company. Lunarpages offers a very easy and quick installation. They also give you a free domain if you buy hosting through them.

The one option I really recommend is buying the domain privacy protection. This means that nobody will be able to see who’s the owner of the site, your address or phone number. It’s worth several euros more for increased protection.

Lunarpages Internet Solutions

Install WordPress

Once you buy hosting you’ll get a free and a one click WordPress installation with it through Lunarpages. This means that your site won’t be on a free WordPress account and won’t look something like this ‘myadventures.wordpress.com’.

Another famous platform is Blogger but believe me, you wanna be on WordPress. Most professionals nowadays use WordPress for their business but for personal uses too. You can install thousands of plugins and themes.

After you install WordPress from your hosting provider, you will be able to login into your WordPress account and here’s where the creative process begins. 🙂

Get a Theme

WordPress comes with many free themes but if you want to have a full control over your blog and better customization options you should buy a premium theme.

Professional themes cost from 20$ to 100$ but this is more than worthy in the upcoming run. Look for a theme that is responsive.

I buy my themes through ThemeForest and here you can find themes for different niches and budgets. Once you get a theme you also get access to support forums where you can post questions and see what others have posted.

theme forest

Download Plugins

Plugins can be easily installed from the WordPress dashboard. They give you more additional features and options.

Plugins that have been extremely helpful and that I love using are;

Akismet – Protects your website from spam comments.

Yoast SEO – Must have plugin if you want to rank higher on Google. It’s simple and easy to use! You’ll learn basic SEO fast. There’s a free and premium version of the plugin.

Digg Digg – Social share buttons.

W3 Total Cache – Reduces loading time of your website. The speed of your website will significantly impact your SEO.

There are thousands available plugins for WordPress. Some of them are free and for some you have to cash out. You can search for plugins from your WordPress dashboard.

Books and Courses

There are many resources online where you can learn more about the business of blogging.

The books I’ve found extremely helpful were 31 days to build a better blog and Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income by Darren Rowse.

Other great books that are not 100% about blogging but that touch this topic are;

 

Write

Obviously you can’t start a blog without content. A lot of people will tell you that you need to publish at least 2 times a week and I think that’s a good rule if you are just starting out. You should take everyone’s advice for granted, mine included and see what works best for you. I only write when I have something to say whether that’s two times a week or once a month. Quality over quantity.

Invest In Good Gear

If you want to have a successful travel blog you’ll need to invest in good gear as well. Photography will be one of the key aspects of your blog so you need a good camera. You also need a lightweight and portable laptop among other things. Check out full EuroTribe’s Travel Gear Guide.

Making Money

Yes you can make money with your travel blog but it takes a lot of work and probably this will happen only after two years have passed. There are different ways for making money with your travel blog.

These include sponsored posts, affiliate programs, display ads etc. You can even be paid to travel and write about destinations, hotels, tours. Companies will also offer you products on regular basis in exchange for reviews on your site.

This is not everything. There are endless opportunities to make money if you have some entrepreneurial spirit and knowledge of a certain topic. You can start a consulting business, tour business, create an ebook or a course etc. As I said opportunities are endless. 🙂

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Where To Try Craft Beer In Belgrade

Belgrade’s craft beer scene is getting more noticeable each day. What started with just one or two brands now expanded to almost 10. Here’s a breakdown of where to try craft…

Belgrade’s craft beer scene is getting more noticeable each day. What started with just one or two brands now expanded to almost 10.

Here’s a breakdown of where to try craft beer in Belgrade.

Pivopija Beer Shop

This beer shop is located in Zemun neighbourhood and offers more than 40 types of beer. Try Dogma Crna Krava made by Dogma Brewery. There’s a small sitting area too.

Address: Bezanijska 37

Miners Pub

This is one of the most popular pubs in Belgrade with excellent beer choices. It’s great for hanging out with friends and you can also play foosball or darts. The place can be a bit chaotic and smokey in winter but that’s the case with almost every Serbian bar unfortunately. Try some beers from the Kabinet brewery – the most popular craft beers in Serbia at the moment.

Address: Rige od Fere 16

Samo Pivo

Another very popular beer only place in Belgrade with more than 50 types of beer on offer. Arrive before 9pm or you probably won’t get a table. They also have a summer garden and the staff is very helpful and knowledgeable.

Address: Balkanska 13

Majstor Za Pivo

One of the biggest craft beer stores in the Balkans. You’ll find over 150 beers here.

Address: Hercega Stjepana 15

Pub & Bar Kabinet

This bar also has a nice atmosphere and it’s much easier to find a table here than at ‘Samo Pivo’ for example. They feature Kabinet beers and bottled beers from all over the world.

Address: Milutina Bojica 2

Berliner

This place is different than the others as it also serves food, mostly German (as you could tell from the name). There’s a good selection of beers and food wise, they serve sausages, burgers and hot wings.

Address: Brace Krsmanovic 6

The Black Turtle Pub

The Black Turtle represents a chain of pubs with four pubs in the city center and a mini-brewery established in 2000. They are famous for their blueberry, lemon and strawberry beers.

Honorable mentions

  • Beerville

  • Cigla & Krigla Pub

  • Gunners Pub

  • Srpska kuca piva

  • Pivski Zabavnik

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How To Find Cheap Accommodation in Europe

Accommodation is one of the biggest expenses when traveling. So if you are wondering how to find cheap accommodation in Europe look no further! Here you’ll find all the options…

Accommodation is one of the biggest expenses when traveling. So if you are wondering how to find cheap accommodation in Europe look no further! Here you’ll find all the options and the best resources for each one of them.

Hotels

It’s true, hotels aren’t cheap. However, with a bit of planning and knowing where to look, you can score a surprisingly good hotel deal and enjoy the privacy and other perks hotels offer.

First it’s good to start with some booking providers. Here are the most popular ones;

Booking is one of the most popular providers for accommodation in Europe. They have a large section of different accommodation options and are great when booking hotels, hostels and apartments. If you make 5 reservations with them you become a genius member, which is the name of their reward’s program. The perks include discounted prices on accommodation and some other freebies.



Booking.com

HotelsCombined compares all top travel sites in search for the best possible deal.

Hotels.com can also offer a good deal. Their reward program offers discounted rates and a free night after collecting 10 nights.

HotWire is a site where you book accommodation without knowing where you’ll actually stay. That’s why their prices are cheap! You’ll be shown a general area grid, amenities, stars, the price and after your card is charged you are provided with the name of the hotel. The hotels are rarely below 3* so this can be a good deal.

Secondly, once you find the cheapest price on these booking providers check the price on hotel’s website directly to see if they match.

Hostels

If you want to find cheap accommodation in Europe then choose a hostel. They are great for budget-minded travelers. Hostels aren’t what they used to be in the past, their service and safety improved a lot and now there are even luxury hostels on the market and hostels that offer a wide array of entertainment options.

Besides cheap prices, hostels offer the chance to interact with other people, which can be handy if you’re traveling solo as you get to meet new people. Of course, there’s a risk you can meet a bunch of idiots too!

Nowadays I rarely stay in hostels. I like having privacy and peace so I usually opt for hotels, private rooms or a private apartment. If you don’t mind the lack of privacy, hostels are a great way to save money on accommodation in Europe. Make sure that the hostel will provide a locker for your valuables and I highly recommend bringing earplugs and a sleeping mask. I like the SleepMaster mask.

The best websites for finding cheap hostels are;

Guest Houses & B&B’s

Guest houses are, in most cases private homes opened for travelers. They are budget-friendly and calmer than hostels. They also offer more privacy as you can choose a private room. Some of them are lovingly decorated and set in beautiful surroundings making the whole experience that much better. Guest houses are very popular in UK, France and Germany.

The best website for finding guest houses is Booking.

Apartments

Book an apartment and live as the locals do! Staying in an apartment can really provide a glimpse into the way of life in a foreign country. It’s also cheaper than staying in a hotel. You can book a private room or a whole place for yourself.

Make sure to read reviews thoroughly and check the location of the apartment.

If you want to stay long-term in an apartment –  check the local ads, FB groups, Couchsurfing. You’ll find a much cheaper deal.

Best websites for short-term rentals are;

If you sign up through my Airbnb link you’ll get 25% off your next trip.

Volunteer

You can also volunteer for a good cause and get free accommodation and meals in exchange. You can volunteer for numerous causes at numerous places! South America, Asia and Africa dominate with these opportunities, but Europe also has plenty of them.

The best websites for volunteering opportunities are;

WWOOF

WorkAway

HelpX

Camping

Camping is popular in wilderness areas, national parks and at the seaside. Nowadays camping is a broad term, from hikers carrying light gear to campers who use recreational vehicles equipped with electricity, running water, furniture etc.

There are also numerous forms of camping: backpacking, bicycle camping, glamping (glamorous camping), social camping and more.

Camping is free in most locations but in some tourist places you may have to pay for it. You’ll also have to invest in good gear.

Best websites for camping are;

House Sitting

House sitting basically means that you can live in someone’s home for free while they’re away, in exchange for doing general house maintenance, pet sitting, picking up the mail etc.

If you travel long-term this could cut your travel costs substantially as you won’t need to pay for accommodation and could live in one place for a few months. Some owners will even pay you to house sit.

Best websites for finding house sitting opportunities are;

Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing is a large travel social community. People from around the world would be happy to show you around their city and provide accommodation for free. Not all people host and not everyone uses Couchsurfing to stay at someone’s place for free. Some travelers just want to find company while they travel and someone to show them their city. Couchsurfing also has meetings in many cities worldwide where you can meet locals, expats and other travelers.

I’ve never used the actual website for staying at someone’s place. After attending meetings and showing foreigners my hometown, I’ve made friends with some of them. Later on wherever I went traveling my newfound couchsurfing friends would connect me with some of their own friends in places I was visiting. They’ve always  readily opened their homes to me, so I ended up staying with 3-4 Couchsurfers in total.

Also the biggest myth is that Couchsurfing is free. It’s not. If you care about your host you’ll bring them a gift or take them to dinner. Also you may not get a spare key and you’ll also need to spend time with your host which could limit independent roaming.

I find Couchsurfing best for finding like-minded people and meeting other travelers on the road. Their groups are especially helpful as you can find people who are interested in same things as you. There are groups for hikers, bloggers, expats, LGBT travelers etc.

Overnight Transportation

You can also save money by choosing to travel overnight on planes, trains, buses and other modes of transportation.

I’m not a big fan of this as I have a really hard time falling asleep in buses or trains but it’s definitely a good way to save money. Again, don’t forget earplugs and a sleeping mask.

Home Exchange

Home exchange is another example of sharing economy. Two parties agree to exchange their homes or rooms for a set period of time. It can include anything from houses to cottages. This is a nice way to save money and experience living like a local.

The best website is Home Exchange.

Farm Stays

Staying at a farm can cost money or it can be free – depending if a work exchange agreement was done. Accommodation includes cabins, cottages, guest rooms or tents. Farm stays are very popular in Italy, Iceland and Ireland.

You can find good opportunities on WWOOF and HelpX.

Monastery Stays

At first this may seem unusual but monastery stays are quite typical in some European countries. They also range from the ones offering very minimal service to those who are luxurious. They are usually cheaper than hostels and include communal kitchens. Some monasteries are famous for producing their own wine and food. Attending religion service is not a prerequisite for a stay.

Monastery Stays is a good resource.

Ask a Friend

We live in a connected world. You probably have friends who study abroad, relatives or friends you met while traveling. It doesn’t hurt to ask if they’d be happy to host you or if they know someone who would.

Purple Roofs

Purple Roofs is a great resource for LGBT travelers. It lists LGBT owned and LGBT friendly accommodations from hotels, B&B’s, hostels, apartments etc. There’s also a list of tour operators and travel agents.

Disclosure: Some links on the list are affiliate links. If you click them, I may get a small commission for your purchase at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products that I personally use and love.
Featured photo: Gery Bembridge on Flickr under CC

 

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How To Find a Cheap Flight To Europe (And Within Europe)

If you’re looking for ways on how to find a cheap flight to Europe or if you’re traveling inside the continent check out some of my favorite tips that could…

If you’re looking for ways on how to find a cheap flight to Europe or if you’re traveling inside the continent check out some of my favorite tips that could help you find a better deal.

Flying is expensive, but it doesn’t have to be that way if you know where to look for!

Search Engines

The first step we make on a quest for finding a cheap flight is to head to flight search engines. They are very easy to use and have a range of helpful tools such as fare alerts by email etc.

Here are the search engines I use the most;

Momondo almost always shows a cheaper deal than other websites and Skyscanner is great as it also shows the results from low-cost carriers. Kayak is great for US citizens. However, I recommend checking all three just in case. Don’t forget to set up fare alert and you’ll be informed if the price drops down.

Airfare websites

These kind of websites have really grown in popularity in recent years. They publish the best deals, error fares and most recent updates. Besides flights you can also find great deals on package holidays and accommodations.

Airline Website

Sometimes you’ll find a cheaper deal directly on the airlines’ website, so don’t rely on search engines only! You should sign up for airlines’ newsletter as their subscribers will be the first to know about any special deals. Also check out the promotions page on the official website of the airline you want to fly with.

Besides these two steps, you can also follow the social media of your favorite airline company or the one you wish to fly with, as promotions and giveaways are also advertised there.

Flights from nearby airports

If you live close to another big town do check the deals from that airport. For example, RyanAir doesn’t fly from Belgrade but it does from Timisoara, Nis and Budapest which are close to the Serbian capital. Bus and train rides are less than 20 EUR and this way I always save up at least 100 EUR.

Check the website of the airport for the list of all carriers including the low-cost ones which are not available on every search engine.

Be Flexible

This is very important if you want to find a cheap flight to Europe. The cheapest prices are usually found a month before the trip as airlines advertise their best deals. Most importantly – travel off season when there is less demand. August is always the most expensive month for flights, accommodation and everything else. Prices are also higher on the weekends than in the middle of the week.

If you are also flexible with the destination you wanna visit, many search engines will show you the cheapest flights from your nearest airport.

Fly With Low-Cost Carriers

Low-cost carriers are very popular in Europe. You can find one way flights starting from 2 EUR! Sure they have some drawbacks- alternative instead of main hubs, paying for extras, not so great customer support, but if you want to explore Europe without breaking bank, low-cost carriers are the way to go.

The most famous low-cost carriers in Europe are;

  • RyanAir

  • WizzAir

  • easyJet

  • Niki

  • WOW Air – cheap flights to Iceland

  • Air Baltic – cheap flights to the Baltics

  • Norwegian – great for flights to Scandinavia

  • Pegasus Airlines – cheap flights to and in Turkey

  • Blue Air – cheap flights to Romania

VPN

If you’re thinking what on earth is VPN, it’s a Virtual Private Network. Cookies and sometimes even your location can give you a much higher price for a flight ticket. For example you may find a much cheaper price of the same flight, just by changing your location.

If you want to travel from New York to Paris and you are checking the prices on Momondo or the site of your favourite airline, you may find that the price on US servers is higher than for example on an Australian one.

There are many VPN online and some of them can be downloaded for free.

Also don’t forget to delete cookies when you’re looking for a flight or browse in a private window.

Book Separate Flights

Sometimes you will also find that booking two separate flights instead of one return flight will save you money. This is not always the case but it’s worth checking out!

Other currency

Booking your flight in a currency other than your own can also save you some real money. Just make sure that your card waives the foreign transaction fees. British pound is stronger than the US dollar, so if you’re a Brit you may save money by booking flight in a currency other than your own.

If you follow these steps I assure you that you’ll save money when booking for your next flight!

I always start with the search engine called Momondo. They show all major and budget carriers, have a website in different languages and currencies and other great features.

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EuroTribe’s Travel Gear Guide

Quality travel gear can really make your life easier when on the road. In this travel gear guide you can see some of the things I use when I travel…

Quality travel gear can really make your life easier when on the road. In this travel gear guide you can see some of the things I use when I travel and in every day life. It consists of basics, electronics and other things.

Basics

Cabin Max Metz Backpack

Cabin Max Metz is flight approved carry on bag. It is designed to fit to the maximum size of most airlines’ guidelines including the low-cost ones such as WizzAir, RyanAir and easyJet. If you prefer the ease of movement and if you’re heading for a city break this bag is a good choice. It’s budget friendly and it’s made for urban travelers. It will also save you money as you won’t need to check in your baggage. However, this bag is not the best choice for longer trips or backpacking because it’s not that comfortable.

Herschel Supply Co. Settlement Backpack

This is the bag I use daily and I absolutely love it! It has a hipster retro look, just like their other backpacks. It’s light, comfortable and it perfectly fits my MacBook Air 13″ and other personal belongings. It’s also great for students.

Sleep Master Mask

The best sleeping mask that eliminates light and reduces sound. It can be used for traveling, while meditating and at your own home. It’s lightweight, comfortable and it really improves your sleep.

Comfortable Shoes

Having quality comfortable shoes is the best investment you can make for your travels and in daily life in general. On average you’ll be walking at least 5 to 10 km a day and you really want to have something of good quality.

Toiletries Kit

Good toiletry bag has different compartments and allows easy access to your cosmetics.

Water Bottle

Earplugs

Absolutely necessary if you are staying at hostels or trying to sleep while traveling.

Electronics

13″ MacBook Air

After my Toshiba laptop I needed something more lightweight and portable. 13″ MacBook Air was the perfect choice. This is really one of the best laptops you can get if you plan on traveling a lot or if you’re a freelancer who’s changing working environment often.

Incase Hardshell Case for MacBook Air

If you’re taking your laptop to places having a protective case is a must! It’s 50 EUR but it’s worth the investment.

Samsung Galaxy J5

I don’t like paying a lot of money for a mobile phone, so this Samsung Galaxy J5 was a perfect choice. It has great performance, and it also provides two sim card slots which is ideal when you’re traveling. It has 13 MP camera and it delivers a lot for that price.

Nikon D3300

I love Nikon cameras and this one is one of the best DSLR cameras on the market. It has an excellent image quality and is ideal for people who want to get serious with photography.

Lowepro Camera Bag

A protective camera bag is a must have. Lowepro produces quality bags that have numerous accessory pockets.

Roost Laptop Stand

One of the best things you can do for your health is getting a laptop stand. Working on your laptop for hours is a sure fire recipe for neck and back pain. Roost helps with that.

Memory Cards

You’ll need a good memory card for your mobile and camera. I use San Disc SD card for my Nikon camera and Kingston memory card for my mobile phone.

Sony Walkman

I know that people rarely use mp3 players today, but I really love my Sony Walkman. Its battery lasts for 35 hours and you can import music from iTunes or Windows Media player. Who doesn’t love to listen to music when traveling? 🙂

Headphones

 

Other equipment

Lonely Planet Guidebooks

These guidebooks offer a lot of great advice and I love using them on my trips. Their maps and suggested itineraries are especially helpful. Lonely Planet also has a free app that you can download and use on your next trip.

Medicine and Vitamins

You should pack hand sanitizer, pain reliever, vitamin C, probiotics and motion sickness remedy. Prevention is the key.

Moleskine Journals

I use Cahier Journals made by Moleskine. They’re lightweight and durable, and each has 80 pages. Great for every day life, not just travel!

Protein Bars

They come especially handy after long trips and hikes.

Disclosure: Some links on the list are affiliate links. If you click them, I may get a small commission for your purchase at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products that I personally use and love.
Photo: Louis Jones via Flick under CC 
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10 Things To See And Do In Tirana, Albania

Tirana, the capital of Albania, is a colorful and chaotic place. Although it’s not the first choice for tourists who either go to the seaside or the Accursed mountains, Tirana…

Tirana, the capital of Albania, is a colorful and chaotic place. Although it’s not the first choice for tourists who either go to the seaside or the Accursed mountains, Tirana is a true find off the beaten path.

And here are top things to see and do in Tirana;

See Skanderbeg Square

This is Tirana’s central square famous for its statue of Skanderbeg – Albanian national hero. The square is also home to other famous landmarks such as the National History Museum and the National Theatre. Dëshmorët e Kombit is a major boulevard which starts from the Skanderbeg Square and hosts many buildings in Italian architectural style. It’s nice for a stroll and it will lead you to another famous landmark – Mother Teresa square.

Skanderberg Square - things to see and do in Tirana

Climb the Clock Tower and Visit Et’hem Bey Mosque

One of the oldest landmarks in Albanian capital. You can climb the tower for nice views of the city center. Mosque is built in 1821 and is famous for its interesting interior.

BUNK’ART

BUNK’ART is Tirana’s new museum and one of the most popular attractions. It consists of two parts. BUNK’ART 1 showcases the daily lives of Albanians during the communist regime, while the BUNK’ART 2 reveals the secrets of Enver Hoxha’s police. There are also other historical exhibitions.

National Historic Museum and the National Art Gallery

National Historic Museum is the prime spot for learning about Albanian history. Museum exhibits items from the ancient times to the Hoxha’s regime. On the other side National Art Gallery exhibits mostly modern art from Albania and abroad, but also the country’s socialist realism.

Pyramid

Tirana’s pyramid is a famous tourist attraction. It used to be a museum dedicated to Enver Hoxha built in 1987. Now it’s a derelict building filled with graffiti on which kids and tourists like to climb and take photos of. In the past it also hosted a disco club called The Mummy.

Pyramid - Things to see and do in Tirana

Love Freedom.

Blokku (The Block)

This neighborhood is widely known for its cafes, restaurants, boutiques etc. and is mostly visited by young Albanians. The former residence of Enver Hoxha can be found here.

Bunkers

Albania is the land of bunkers. You’ll find them at many places in the city as well. After leaving the Warsaw Pact, Albania constructed nearly 700,000 bunkers across the whole country. As they’re difficult to be destroyed many locals decided to get creative and paint them in different colors. Postblokku which is located just across the Parliament offices features an original bunker and a fragment of the Berlin Wall.

Bunkers - Things to see and do in Tirana

Mount Dajti

Mount Dajti is a nice escape from the city during the hot summer months. There’s a cable car which will take you to a plateau with great views of the surroundings and Tirana. There are also a couple of trails if you love hiking, ideal spots for a picnic and restaurants.

Mother Teresa Square

The second largest square in the city which is home to the University of Tirana and the Archaeological museum.

Tirana Art Lab

Tirana Art Lab was founded with an idea to showcase emerging artists from Albania and Europe. It hosts exhibitions, lectures and workshops. Artists can also apply for their residency program.

Where To Stay

You can compare the cheapest rates on accommodation in Tirana by visiting HotelsCombined or Booking.

Getting There

The best and easiest way to get to Tirana is by flying. Check out Momondo for a cheap flight to the Albanian capital.

Do you have any suggestions on things to see and do in Tirana? Feel free to comment below.

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