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She Explores: Stories of Life-Changing Adventures on the Road and in the Wild

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A collection of stories that inspires unforgettable adventure. Beautiful, empowering and exhilarating: She Explores is a spirited celebration of female bravery and courage, and an inspirational companion for any woman who wants to travel the world on her own terms. Combining breathtaking travel photography with compelling personal narratives, She Explores shares the stori A collection of stories that inspires unforgettable adventure. Beautiful, empowering and exhilarating: She Explores is a spirited celebration of female bravery and courage, and an inspirational companion for any woman who wants to travel the world on her own terms. Combining breathtaking travel photography with compelling personal narratives, She Explores shares the stories of 40 diverse women on unforgettable journeys in nature: women who live out of vans, trucks, and vintage trailers, hiking the wild, cooking meals over campfires, and sleeping under the stars. Women biking through the countryside, embarking on an unknown road trip, or backpacking through the outdoors with their young children in tow. Complementing the narratives are practical tips and advice for women planning their own trips, including preparing for a solo hike, must-haves for a road-trip kitchen, planning ahead for unknown territory, and telling your own story. A visually stunning and emotionally satisfying collection for any woman craving new landscapes and adventure. Gale Straub is the founder of She-Explores.com, a media platform for curious, creative women who love travel and outdoor adventure. For any woman who has ever been called outdoorsy... or who wants to be. Beautiful, empowering, and exhilarating, She Explores will inspire even the most outdoor-averse woman to connect with the landscape, take a leap of faith and find her tribe. Makes a wonderful birthday, graduation, or new going away gift for an adventurous woman. Great coffee table book to spark conversation about travel and exploration.


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A collection of stories that inspires unforgettable adventure. Beautiful, empowering and exhilarating: She Explores is a spirited celebration of female bravery and courage, and an inspirational companion for any woman who wants to travel the world on her own terms. Combining breathtaking travel photography with compelling personal narratives, She Explores shares the stori A collection of stories that inspires unforgettable adventure. Beautiful, empowering and exhilarating: She Explores is a spirited celebration of female bravery and courage, and an inspirational companion for any woman who wants to travel the world on her own terms. Combining breathtaking travel photography with compelling personal narratives, She Explores shares the stories of 40 diverse women on unforgettable journeys in nature: women who live out of vans, trucks, and vintage trailers, hiking the wild, cooking meals over campfires, and sleeping under the stars. Women biking through the countryside, embarking on an unknown road trip, or backpacking through the outdoors with their young children in tow. Complementing the narratives are practical tips and advice for women planning their own trips, including preparing for a solo hike, must-haves for a road-trip kitchen, planning ahead for unknown territory, and telling your own story. A visually stunning and emotionally satisfying collection for any woman craving new landscapes and adventure. Gale Straub is the founder of She-Explores.com, a media platform for curious, creative women who love travel and outdoor adventure. For any woman who has ever been called outdoorsy... or who wants to be. Beautiful, empowering, and exhilarating, She Explores will inspire even the most outdoor-averse woman to connect with the landscape, take a leap of faith and find her tribe. Makes a wonderful birthday, graduation, or new going away gift for an adventurous woman. Great coffee table book to spark conversation about travel and exploration.

30 review for She Explores: Stories of Life-Changing Adventures on the Road and in the Wild

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jeanette

    Classy looking and spectacularly photographed! Supremely above average materials and construct on this hardcover book which is actually a work of art. The author, her women co-writers (each in a category and writing their own life core outdoorsy models of ideal)- have their written words or art surrounded by sublime and often unusual natural world and personal photos. Mountains are prime. Water, forests, fields, rock- somewhat secondary. Loved the photos and the texture of the pages. Was awed by s Classy looking and spectacularly photographed! Supremely above average materials and construct on this hardcover book which is actually a work of art. The author, her women co-writers (each in a category and writing their own life core outdoorsy models of ideal)- have their written words or art surrounded by sublime and often unusual natural world and personal photos. Mountains are prime. Water, forests, fields, rock- somewhat secondary. Loved the photos and the texture of the pages. Was awed by some of the stories. Nevertheless I almost gave it a 3 star, despite all of that. Because aftermath thinking made me realize that there is no memory of mine easily recalled which has held so many "I's" per page. Especially considering that the written copy per page (some pages have little- maybe 4 paragraphs amidst space or photos)-is scarce and stories per woman quite short. And within those few insights, you get the me, me, me or I, I, I word endlessly. Just not a bag that I can carry and connect within well, IMHO. I did try and read some of the "identity politics" labeling and virtue signaling twice over to try to understand what great importance to their own strength it posits for them. Possibly I reread because it is so different (nearly contradictory) than the "we" identity lived in the group cultures and society of my life? Where we got our identity for work, belief systems, morality behaviors etc by being often "all together" as equals to each other? Most of the time in very kind to each other and humongous with "ties of interests and activity" groups at that. This is all about "me"- the modern woman. Separate by choice in various ways and putting herself as most important. Frankly, most of them cut themselves off from the larger world in huge aspects to experience a more desired and "bigger" awareness. A great majority of these women are hikers, roamers for extreme sports, solitary lovers in general, nature preferred outdoors camping life or van gypsy type wanderers and especially are people who deem or prefer not to have a home place at all but live, raise children, or work endlessly "on the road". I'm tougher is some regards, but certainly not one of them with this kind of preferred world view, despite loving travel. Their likes and cores I understand somewhat- but their methods? Not so much at all. But this is an intensely and well done visual experience in print. Definitely of generation who cuts ties extremely well.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Max

    This book is so wholesome. I just finished and I feel so inspired by these powerful and free women! The book is divided in chapters with various kind of women, for example travelers, artists and professionals. In one or two pages they describe their life and why they explore the way they do. Guided by stunning photography and art, it really immerses you in nature. What I especially love is the diversity of women in this book. It's not just privileged rich people. Even though most lifestyles are no This book is so wholesome. I just finished and I feel so inspired by these powerful and free women! The book is divided in chapters with various kind of women, for example travelers, artists and professionals. In one or two pages they describe their life and why they explore the way they do. Guided by stunning photography and art, it really immerses you in nature. What I especially love is the diversity of women in this book. It's not just privileged rich people. Even though most lifestyles are not for everyone, I think most readers can feel inspired by these women and use a little of their enthousiasm in their own life. There's also helpful tips for exploring, hiking and camping in this book. This is a welcome addition in my opinion since it also makes the book practical. There are just enough stories in it, not too much, so that you feel you arent reading the same thing over and over. So, I give it five stars. The photography really is so beautiful, and sets the mood so well. If you buy this book, get it as a hardcopy. That will make the photography come to life even more than your eReader or computer screen. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the ARC. These are my opinions and are in no way influenced by the fact I got the ARC for free.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Paulina

    There are some books that may not have the best literary value, but you stumbled upon them in the right place and right time. This one is it for me

  4. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa Funk

    I found this collection of brief stories of adventurous women combined with breathtaking photos to be an inspiring read and it made me want to search out more female travellers online and keep finding my own adventures (even if they are limited to my city for the time being). I did find that many of the stories seemed very focused on mountainous/hiking adventurers and as someone who prefers the ocean over mountains, it just felt like a narrowed view of being adventurous.

  5. 5 out of 5

    sssnoo reads

    My son gave me this book when I retired. The perfect gift for this almost 60 year old woman heading out on a new adventure (my Glampervan should be ready to hit the road in May 2020). The book has a large number of short person vignettes and stories from a diverse array of women adventurers. Photographs and artwork make up the rest of the book. Meant to inspire women to think outside their self proscribed boundaries, the book succeeds. At least it did for me. Not only is the book beautiful and i My son gave me this book when I retired. The perfect gift for this almost 60 year old woman heading out on a new adventure (my Glampervan should be ready to hit the road in May 2020). The book has a large number of short person vignettes and stories from a diverse array of women adventurers. Photographs and artwork make up the rest of the book. Meant to inspire women to think outside their self proscribed boundaries, the book succeeds. At least it did for me. Not only is the book beautiful and inspiring in its own right, it connects you to Women on the Road podcasts and an online She-Explores stories to keep you inspired. I have found many compilation nooks like this often end up very homogeneous, lacking diversity, reflecting mini-mes of the editor. Not so with this book. Almost all women will find themselves somewhere in this book. If you are called to the Earth’s natural places, dream about or live adventure, be it hiking, road tripping or mountaineering, you will likely enjoy this book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Stacy Renee (LazyDayLit)

    This was an inspirational collection of stories from women who spend their lives exploring and adventuring. I picked it up because this is basically LIFE GOALS for me. Can I please uproot and spend the rest of my life exploring nature?

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sydney Legg

    I don’t know what it is about this season of life for me but I just haven’t been interested in reading or listening to books lately. I’m accepting this and not forcing myself to read just because “that’s what I do.” However, my husband brought home this book a few weeks ago when he stopped into the library. He said “I saw this on their featured shelf and thought it looked like a Sydney book!” And indeed, he was correct. Short 1-2 page stories of women who all share a love for the outdoors was th I don’t know what it is about this season of life for me but I just haven’t been interested in reading or listening to books lately. I’m accepting this and not forcing myself to read just because “that’s what I do.” However, my husband brought home this book a few weeks ago when he stopped into the library. He said “I saw this on their featured shelf and thought it looked like a Sydney book!” And indeed, he was correct. Short 1-2 page stories of women who all share a love for the outdoors was the exact type of thing I want to read right now. They inspired me and the pictures were gorgeous. If you’re looking for a quick, easy, and empowering book to enjoy, look no further!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mrs. Europaea

    The mountains do not discriminate; they don't care who you are, where you came from, or what your skin color is. They demand your respect. She Explores is a must read for any adventurer or reader with an outdoorsy spirit stuck inside on a rainy day. This collection of stories is empowering. inspiring, and packed with handy tips for backpacking, hiking, or general exploring in any natural environment. The stories are diverse, each narrator discusses a different factor that motivated them to seek The mountains do not discriminate; they don't care who you are, where you came from, or what your skin color is. They demand your respect. She Explores is a must read for any adventurer or reader with an outdoorsy spirit stuck inside on a rainy day. This collection of stories is empowering. inspiring, and packed with handy tips for backpacking, hiking, or general exploring in any natural environment. The stories are diverse, each narrator discusses a different factor that motivated them to seek out and create unforgettable experiences in nature. If that isn't enough, the photography included is breathtaking and worth the purchase.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Allison Heikkinen

    I cannot express how much this book touched my heart. Growing up I wasn’t a part of an outdoorsy family, but as an adult nature has become an integral part of my life. This book allowed me to feel connected to others in the exploring community and reminded me that anything is possible if only I choose to set my mind to it. Thank you so much for this amazing collection and for reigniting the fire in my heart.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Filipczak

    A good friend gifted this book to me because she thought I would appreciate it. She was right! I loved reading the women’s stories about travel and adventure and the photographs were incredible. This book inspires one to hit the road or the trail. My only small criticism was that I wish some stories were longer to go into more detail.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Meagan

    This is a beautiful collection of photographs and stories that will inspire and uplift every reader, no matter what your interest level in the outdoors. Gorgeous book!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Courtnee

    Perfect stuck-in-your-house quarantine reading

  13. 5 out of 5

    Robyn

    A pretty bold claim A collection of stories that inspires unforgettable adventure. I do agree this is a “beautiful, empowering, and exhilarating” collection of short personal essays (between a couple of paragraphs to about a page each). I wouldn’t claim these essays will inspire an unforgettable adventure, but I’m not sure that’s really what Straub set out to do. Gale Straub her career as an auditor but transitioned to a creative professional with a blog and podcast. I’m not sure the impetus to A pretty bold claim A collection of stories that inspires unforgettable adventure. I do agree this is a “beautiful, empowering, and exhilarating” collection of short personal essays (between a couple of paragraphs to about a page each). I wouldn’t claim these essays will inspire an unforgettable adventure, but I’m not sure that’s really what Straub set out to do. Gale Straub her career as an auditor but transitioned to a creative professional with a blog and podcast. I’m not sure the impetus to leave the business life, but since she did her focus has been collecting personal accounts of women enjoying the outdoors. I loved that the collection showcases diverse women and experiences. The message is any woman can get outdoors and enjoy nature in whatever ways she wants. Some women hiked with musical instruments to host impromptu concerts, some go tiny and mobile #VanLife, and other women advocate for wild spaces. Peppered throughout are basic tips for being safe outdoors, fireside cooking, and more, but don’t expect in-depth how-to's. You will not learn how to build a fire or field dress an animal. What I greatly enjoyed were the gorgeous photographs! Stunning landscapes where everyone looked like REI models. While I don’t think this will inspire non-nature lovers to get outside, I do think this collection could be the perfect little nudge of encouragement to spend more time enjoying nature.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Valerie

    Inspiring collection of women’s stories from the Outdoors and from the road First off, I read this book as an ebook, which I believe took away some of the beauty of the photographs, as I was seeing them in black and white on a small screen. This book is a collection of stories from women from different walks of life about what being outside means to them. I have to say, I enjoyed every single one of them. The stories are grouped according to what the outdoors means to each of the women (enthusiast Inspiring collection of women’s stories from the Outdoors and from the road First off, I read this book as an ebook, which I believe took away some of the beauty of the photographs, as I was seeing them in black and white on a small screen. This book is a collection of stories from women from different walks of life about what being outside means to them. I have to say, I enjoyed every single one of them. The stories are grouped according to what the outdoors means to each of the women (enthusiasts, creatives, founders and professionals, nomads, transplants and advocates). All the stories mean to inspire in some way. In between, there are some tips on hiking, living on the road, making friends on trails, cooking on the road etc. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The photographs are beautiful. The stories are beautifully written and unique. I enjoyed the “nomad” stories most, they almost made me want to give up my job and start living on the road! I also liked the tips in between. Overall, I found this an inspiring read that I highly recommend. I imagine this to be a great “coffee table” book to just pick up and start dreaming.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    Love this book! It's a series of essays by women about their relationship with travel, the outdoors, nature, politics, family... life. There are some really thoughtful reflections on race and gender.... very refreshing to see in a book ostensibly about exploring nature. Interspersed with the essays are also some practical tips for travelling and exploring nature. And there are some beautiful photos - not your typical nature photos (one pic through a carabiner is amazing). It's unlike anything I' Love this book! It's a series of essays by women about their relationship with travel, the outdoors, nature, politics, family... life. There are some really thoughtful reflections on race and gender.... very refreshing to see in a book ostensibly about exploring nature. Interspersed with the essays are also some practical tips for travelling and exploring nature. And there are some beautiful photos - not your typical nature photos (one pic through a carabiner is amazing). It's unlike anything I've ever read; it's hard to define. It's not just essays, or just photos or a 'how to guide' -- it's all that and more. I just love this book! It is a collection from/inspired by the website of the same name. I'm embarrassed to admit I wasn't familiar with the website until I stumbled upon the book... but now I am. At least I got to experience the book fresh, with no prior knowledge of the website so the book was a wonderful surprise. And holding the stories and photos in your hands is an entirely different experience than viewing them on a screen.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nadina

    I liked how all the entries in this book were short, and the combination of stories and tips, though I will admit my favorite part was the pictures. It's broken down into sections, which is how I read it, and it makes for a smooth, quick, easy read that also makes you think. It was an interesting read and this book, combined with a travel book I am reading have me wanting to travel, and go back to hike in Switzerland again, trails I did once when I was 8 but that I have not been back to since. I I liked how all the entries in this book were short, and the combination of stories and tips, though I will admit my favorite part was the pictures. It's broken down into sections, which is how I read it, and it makes for a smooth, quick, easy read that also makes you think. It was an interesting read and this book, combined with a travel book I am reading have me wanting to travel, and go back to hike in Switzerland again, trails I did once when I was 8 but that I have not been back to since. It also has me wanting to go camping again, I got a nice tent with my car to go camping, but have not yet found the motivation to use it. Now with stay at home orders and having to work from home, and in a situation where we don't know when the end will be, I feel like I can't even really plan anything yet, but I do think I might try to come up with a rough plan. I don't think it's a book that I would off the top of my head recommend to anyone, but I think to the right person I would certainly consider it, or if someone was already looking at the book and asked me about it I would recommend it then.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Erica Hopper

    I am not a podcast listener, generally. But with having a little one who kept me busy, and finding the only time "alone" to be when I took him for walks, I found myself wanting to use that time to get inspired. Listening to books doesn't work for me, but listening to a podcast did once I found the She Explores podcast. I have continued to listen to this podcast for the last several months and when I went to my local bookstore and found this book, I was so excited and quickly selected it for purc I am not a podcast listener, generally. But with having a little one who kept me busy, and finding the only time "alone" to be when I took him for walks, I found myself wanting to use that time to get inspired. Listening to books doesn't work for me, but listening to a podcast did once I found the She Explores podcast. I have continued to listen to this podcast for the last several months and when I went to my local bookstore and found this book, I was so excited and quickly selected it for purchase. This book can be a quick read, as each entry has a page or two blurb by an exploring woman, but I opted to take my time with it and read it only when I could fully focus on the beautiful pages and the varying words of these women who come from many different backgrounds with many different experiences but all have a passion for the outdoors. It's something I feel I'll come back to again, as there are also lists of helpful tips if you plan to go camping, hiking, or the likes. But also, simply because I found the words of these women to be comforting and communal.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    A wonderfully beautiful book, this lived up to all my expectations. I love the podcast and online community, so I figured I would love the book also. The stories are little snippets- a nice read to give you a preview into that particular woman’s world. I really appreciated that all the contributors are listed at the back (for credit but also for me to find them online). The organization of the book into the different categories was well done and the photos were breath-taking! I was captivated by A wonderfully beautiful book, this lived up to all my expectations. I love the podcast and online community, so I figured I would love the book also. The stories are little snippets- a nice read to give you a preview into that particular woman’s world. I really appreciated that all the contributors are listed at the back (for credit but also for me to find them online). The organization of the book into the different categories was well done and the photos were breath-taking! I was captivated by the book and read it in less than 24 hours... even though I was trying to slow it down so it wouldn’t end.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Cami

    Amazing book about women in the outdoors. Beautiful photography, inspiring stories, and thoughtful questions about what draws us into the wild all along the way. This book makes me yearn for the mountains and the hiking trails while also giving me reason to explore the nature in my own backyard. Absolutely 100% would recommend and is definitely one I will be returning to often. Was so thankful for the contributors page in the back with people's websites and social media information. I've now fil Amazing book about women in the outdoors. Beautiful photography, inspiring stories, and thoughtful questions about what draws us into the wild all along the way. This book makes me yearn for the mountains and the hiking trails while also giving me reason to explore the nature in my own backyard. Absolutely 100% would recommend and is definitely one I will be returning to often. Was so thankful for the contributors page in the back with people's websites and social media information. I've now filled my instagram with these amazing women's pages.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    An interesting collection of stories from women explorers with so much enthusiasm and energy to motivate the reader to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. Each story is accompanied by stunning images—and useful tips— that will pique your interest in nature and make you crave a new adventure. I would recommend. I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and Chronicle Books in exchange for an honest review.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Diana Beckham

    My favorite qoute, "If I ever have a daughter, I hope she, too, will one day jump in a truck with her girlfriends to meander down dirt roads, watching red dust collect on her feet and a sunburn slowly creeping across her desert skin." This book is filled with beautiful art work, literary wisdom, and feminine strength. I read the book with my 12 yr old daughter and we were both inspired to face our fears and embark on our own journey! My favorite qoute, "If I ever have a daughter, I hope she, too, will one day jump in a truck with her girlfriends to meander down dirt roads, watching red dust collect on her feet and a sunburn slowly creeping across her desert skin." This book is filled with beautiful art work, literary wisdom, and feminine strength. I read the book with my 12 yr old daughter and we were both inspired to face our fears and embark on our own journey!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ashley McMullen

    Beautiful book with great photos and stories of strong women in the outdoors. Each article is shorter than I thought it would be, and most of them barely scratch the surface of what they're doing. However, I enjoyed this compilation of inspiring women doing what they do outside. I listen to Gale's podcast of the same name, and am glad to add this collection of essays to my bookshelf. Beautiful book with great photos and stories of strong women in the outdoors. Each article is shorter than I thought it would be, and most of them barely scratch the surface of what they're doing. However, I enjoyed this compilation of inspiring women doing what they do outside. I listen to Gale's podcast of the same name, and am glad to add this collection of essays to my bookshelf.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kelly K

    When you get notification that this book is due tomorrow and you can't renew it because there's multiple holds so you're like CRAP I GOTSTA SUPA-READ. The pictures in this were gorgeous but I wish it told you where they were. I also liked the stories but I was really expecting them to be longer. Overall, this just made me want to climb mountains. When you get notification that this book is due tomorrow and you can't renew it because there's multiple holds so you're like CRAP I GOTSTA SUPA-READ. The pictures in this were gorgeous but I wish it told you where they were. I also liked the stories but I was really expecting them to be longer. Overall, this just made me want to climb mountains.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    I'm glad that I was finally able to download this book from Netgalley. Sometimes it's difficult to take that step out of our comfort zone, especially when you have to do it alone because you don't have an exploration buddy. This is a good book for women who want to get out there and see things beyond their safe little work, but hesitate at the threshold. #SheExplores #netgalley I'm glad that I was finally able to download this book from Netgalley. Sometimes it's difficult to take that step out of our comfort zone, especially when you have to do it alone because you don't have an exploration buddy. This is a good book for women who want to get out there and see things beyond their safe little work, but hesitate at the threshold. #SheExplores #netgalley

  25. 5 out of 5

    D

    Note: Digital edition from Borrow Box Great book to dip into, with women offering short insights into their adventures. The people within the covers are 'movers' not entirely happy unless outdoors. Includes suggestions and signposting towards outdoor based employment and other info. A good introduction maybe for an energetic teenager looking for an alternative job? Its not a wow, life changing book, but easily read with positive vibes, and an extra star for the beautiful photography. Note: Digital edition from Borrow Box Great book to dip into, with women offering short insights into their adventures. The people within the covers are 'movers' not entirely happy unless outdoors. Includes suggestions and signposting towards outdoor based employment and other info. A good introduction maybe for an energetic teenager looking for an alternative job? Its not a wow, life changing book, but easily read with positive vibes, and an extra star for the beautiful photography.

  26. 4 out of 5

    natalie

    I felt so inspired reading this, I almost ran outside to hug a tree the second i finished. Jokes aside, this was a light hearted read that perfectly dug into common issues that women in the wild face, while encouraging is to do what we love best. Super uplifting and made me reflect on the world around me. And I cannot stop thinking about those STUNNING pictures!!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Laurel

    Very nice collection of stories. It reads kind of like a daily devotional; little short stories that focuses on a different aspect of outdoors/travel/exploration. I'm not necessarily inspired to go live in a van for the next year, but I did look at some of the programs and things that were talked about. Very nice collection of stories. It reads kind of like a daily devotional; little short stories that focuses on a different aspect of outdoors/travel/exploration. I'm not necessarily inspired to go live in a van for the next year, but I did look at some of the programs and things that were talked about.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Darcy Diana

    I picked this up at my library on a whim because the cover intrigued me. I’m so glad I did because I was in awe of all the beautiful photography and everyone’s stories. I will for sure purchase my own copy soon.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Gypsy

    Wonderful, short stories from women about their love of the outdoors. It was a heartwarming read, with beautiful photography, that made me finally feel like part of a community... one of fellow female outdoors enthusiasts. Inspiring and encouraging!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kaitlin Roache

    Awesome!! Literally read it front to back in two hours. The different story perspectives and experiences were so fulfilling to read. And the pictures in the book are breathtaking. The book left me with a sense of wanderlust and a craving for more hiking and exploring in my life!!

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