Home for the Holidays – a surprise twist in our RV life

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We’ll be home for Christmas this year. Yes, in a real, ‘stick & brick’ home, that we recently bought in Colorado. That means we’ll be doing more ‘hub & spoke’ style travel from our home base as part time RVers, instead of full timing as we have been for the past 6+ years. Here’s the story.

Ironically, this move is creating more freedom and adventure for us, in this changing season of our RV travels and lifestyle.

Expect the unexpected

The surprise part is that this is something neither of us were expecting. Or planning. Or shopping for. Or even talking about, for that matter. So the fact we actually DID IT is perhaps as much of a surprise to us, as it may be for you. Oh, and while we’re on the subject of surprises, we also sold our motorhome, CC. We got an offer we couldn’t refuse, and so we jumped on it. So now we’re back to just one RV (the Casita) and the Jeep, and we no longer have to juggle two RVs. It was fun for a while, but in the end, practicality won out.

It all happened really fast, and to be honest, our heads are still spinning. We’re really excited and happy about it all. But it’s also taken more of an emotional adjustment than we imagined. Probably because we weren’t planning it. So we had no time to actually get used to the idea. We needed some time to process ourselves before we were able to share the news!

Darling, let's be spontaneous!

As you may know, we typically plan and research things for months on end before making big (and expensive) decisions. Whether that’s buying an RV. Or buying a camping membership. But we also know ourselves well, and we are (fortunately) very aligned with each other. So when a realtor friend in Colorado took us for a drive and showed us a cute, little place that we instantly fell in love with, we spontaneously said “let’s buy it!” Within 48 hours we were under contract, and now we’re all moved in!

Like we said, we’ve been processing all this and wondering how and when to share the news with you. We still have a ton of content in the queue, waiting to be edited and published on the blog and YouTube! But we also didn’t want our backlog to cause us to wait any longer in telling you. We want to be able to authentically share on social media what’s happening in our lives in real time, even if that means some of the content may be ‘out of order’. And that’s OK. “Out of order” seems to be the theme of 2020 anyway!

Many RVers are making changes right now

This news may not even be that surprising to you. After all, many of our fellow full time RVers have also either shifted to part time travel, decided to take a season off and pause their full time RV life, and some have hung up the keys on RV life altogether. 

On a recent Live Call with our RV Success School students, everyone chimed in to share how the pandemic was affecting them and their travel / life plans. Quite a few have also shifted to a home base and decided to part time travel for a while. While some others have recently sold their homes and either hit the road already, or are preparing to embark on their own full time RV lives in 2021.

 Just as we always say in the RV life – there is no one size fits all, and everyone needs to do what is personally best for them, at any given time.

Don’t worry, we’re not saying we are stopping full time RVing for good! We’re just putting it on hold for the time being. We’ll wait for the world to settle down a bit, which will also give us time to reassess what’s next in our RV and travel adventures. 

A bit about our new home

We’ll be doing that in our cute little home, which is small, about two years old, and largely powered by solar. So it’s easy and inexpensive to maintain and Marc is VERY happy that there’s no lawn to mow! Just a small courtyard. Being a great “lock and leave” style home, it actually supports (rather than hinder) our future travel dreams and goals – both domestically and internationally.

Of course, compared to our 350sqf motorhome, the place feels huge! But it’s compact enough not to feel overwhelming. And we really love having a second bedroom as an office, instead of always staring at our computers in the RV living space! To be honest, having our life and work so intertwined in the main living area of our RV was starting to take a toll that we didn’t even realize, until we were no longer dealing with it. So we now feel more freedom, peace and joy in our work than we have in quite a while.

What does this mean for RV Love – and for you? 

From our perspective, it is all very positive – for you and for us. We will still be traveling in an RV  (ours and others) and we still love creating and sharing content that we know will help you, no matter where you are at in your RVing journey. Plus, we still have so much more content yet to be shared – from our Class A motorhome, RV rentals, boondocking, and our camper – that haven’t been edited yet. We have plenty of ideas for other kinds of content too, which we’re excited to roll out in 2021.

In fact, we’re already working on a second book with our publisher (about RV life) right now, and that will keep us busy for the next few months at least! We’ll share more about that as soon as we’re allowed to! 

And while we have identified as full timers since 2014, all of the experience and content we have developed along the way remains available to you – here at our website, on our YouTube channel, social media, our first book and our online school.

Freedom comes in many shapes and forms

Ironically, we now feel more free to embrace different kinds of RVing adventures – with our much smaller travel trailer and Jeep. And we plan to do more RV rentals, so we can share a host of new RVing experiences in different kinds of rigs, without having to be on the hook for the cost of RV repairs, maintenance and depreciation!

If you read our 6 year blog series, including the real cost of RV ownership, you’ll see what we mean! 

Living the life you want takes courage

The Dedication on page 5 of our book reads: 

To all those who lead ‘normal’ lives, in the hope you may be brave enough to choose a new road that leads to more freedom and fun… and embrace the inevitable twists and turns as part of the adventure.

– Marc and Julie Bennett (page 5 of "Living the RV Life")

It’s only in hindsight that we realized our recent decision to buy a house and make these big changes WERE actually pretty brave. And these new roads are already leading us to more freedom and fun… In fact, it was the twists and turns in the roads of 2020 that have been introducing us to new kinds of RV adventures and opportunities that we had not considered before.

In Chapter 2 of the book, we talk about your “WHY” and how to design an RV lifestyle that works for YOU. We did this exercise back in 2013 when planning to hit the road full time. When we did the exercise again recently, we realized that this decision is actually supporting us in our bigger goal of traveling even farther and wider. That is, when things open back up again, in the USA and internationally, of course. So this season of our life is giving us time to plan more for that.

Simplifying our lives

Finding RV storage and places to park the Casita have been pretty easy. Even finding a place to hang out with both of our RVs – while it can be a bit of a juggle and extra expense – wasn’t even that much of an issue. But finding an affordable place to store our 40’ motorhome for longer periods – say for a trip to Australia (which we’ve since cancelled) was proving to be more of a challenge. And it just didn’t make financial sense.

One of the keys to more freedom and fun in our life is simplification. And it feels like we have created a simpler, healthier balance for ourselves. We’re in a beautiful part of the country, close to family, and can travel to some of our very favorite places on just one tank of gas! Of course, we’ve redirected the money we were spending on our big motorhome to a small piece of real estate that is appreciating in value, while supporting our current and future lifestyle needs. Emotionally and financially.

Did we have an exit plan for our RV life?

Over the years, whenever people asked us if we had an exit plan for our RV life, the answer was always no. We have truly loved our full time RV life, the places we’ve been, the people we’ve met, the adventures we’ve had and how we have grown personally and as a couple, through it all. We honestly could not imagine stopping. We usually found ourselves getting itchy feet (wheels?) after 3 or 4 weeks in one place.

We always figured that if and when we were ready to change our RV lifestyle, we’d feel that nudge, and talk about it. Rather than try to put a specific timeframe on things, we figured a ‘feeling’ or a ‘situation’ would be the catalyst, and we would just cross that bridge when we got to it. You can’t plan everything too far ahead in life as so many things can change. And who was anticipating a global pandemic, and how that would impact all of our lives!?

Of course, we never imagined the ‘perfect house’ for us would show up so quickly and serendipitously in the way it did. But then 10 years ago we never imagined we’d be living, working and traveling the country full time in an RV for over 6 years either. Or that we would end up making a full time career out of it – one that we love – while helping thousands of people and creating an incredible community of RVing friends (That’s you!)

And we don’t consider this an ‘exit’ from our RV life, so much as a change of travel style and pace. At least for now. And an RVer is an RVer, no matter how you choose to do it.

Less time fixing, more time doing other things!

With less time spent on travel planning, moving, and fixing the coach, we actually have additional time to create more of the kinds of content we want to share. And take in the joys of a slower pace of life and travel for a while. Ah, slow living. There really is something to be said for it! 

Traveling fast and furious can be fun, but it also gets exhausting after a while. Especially after six years, while working full time! We’re really looking forward to doing some shorter getaways with the Jeep and camper, snow camping (!?). And after loving our experience renting a smaller RV in Florida earlier this year, and another in Texas, we also plan to do more RV rentals in different kinds of rigs.

What are our plans for the rest of 2020?

We feel 2020 has forced all of us to take a breath, step back and reassess what we really want more of in life. At least, that’s what it has been for us. 

So with all that, we’re looking forward to a quiet and cozy time “in” this holiday season… Having Zoom calls with family – in Australia and the USA. Cooking up a delicious feast (with leftovers for days). Working on another book. And reflecting on the year that was… and the year that is yet to be.

We’re excited for the new adventures that lay ahead, and sharing it with all of you!

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! May the holidays be filled with peace, love and happiness. 

– Love, Julie & Marc

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36 thoughts on “Home for the Holidays – a surprise twist in our RV life”

  1. My husband and myself decided and the beginning of 2020 that ultimately instead of full time RVing we were going to do what you both have just embarked on. Having a small Casita to be home-based from and just traveling in a smaller RV whenever the feeling strikes. We however are finding it difficult to find these places other than the obvious Florida/Arizona ones. Good luck on your new lifestyle, as ever, I am so very, very jealous

    Reply
    • Yes Arizona and Florida – also Texas – are the most popular places to find these small places – you may also look at Palm Springs, CA area but they are more expensive. Also look at Tiny Home Communities. Just keep on looking and you will find the right place for you! We are lucky – this place found us and it felt right, so we just leaned into it – but it happened so fast our heads were spinning for months as we made the internal adjustments associated with such a big and unexpected change… unlike you, we hadn’t made this decision or started looking! But we are glad it has worked out the way it has and wish you every success in finding the right place for you!

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  2. My husband and myself decided and the beginning of 2020 that ultimately instead of full time RVing we were going to do what you both have just embarked on. Having a small Casita to be home-based from and just traveling in a smaller RV whenever the feeling strikes. We however are finding it difficult to find these places other than the obvious Florida/Arizona ones. Good luck on your new lifestyle, as ever, I am so very, very jealous

    Reply
    • Yes Arizona and Florida – also Texas – are the most popular places to find these small places – you may also look at Palm Springs, CA area but they are more expensive. Also look at Tiny Home Communities. Just keep on looking and you will find the right place for you! We are lucky – this place found us and it felt right, so we just leaned into it – but it happened so fast our heads were spinning for months as we made the internal adjustments associated with such a big and unexpected change… unlike you, we hadn’t made this decision or started looking! But we are glad it has worked out the way it has and wish you every success in finding the right place for you!

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  3. Hi Marc and Julie,
    My husband and I decided to go full-timing in 2018 and watched/read just about everything you put out (including your book, of course, one of 3 that we carry). We had finally taken care of all of our downsizing and renovating & selling our house by late 2019, and were just getting started (and loving it) when the pandemic quarantine brought all of our plans to a standstill. Like many, we decided to go off the road for a bit; thankfully, we had family in east TN on a lake with room for our 5th wheel, dually, and car. We started to realize the importance of a home base and thought we’d look for a piece of property to park on and set up utilities…but my husband wanted a dock, too…long story longer, we ended up buying a lake house! I can 100% relate to your feeling of that being NOWHERE on our radar! Our plan is to spend a couple of months there in the summer and possibly retire to it when/if we stop full-timing. We got rid of all 3 vehicles and are now in a ’97 Odessa Overland 42 footer with a Jeep Grand Cherokee. It’s a whole new adventure in a class-A, but we went back on the road in November and we’re excited! Thanks for your help and inspiration for the past couple of years; you’re a big part of our journey. Hope to meet you someday!
    Blessings,
    Brooke & Ken Smith
    (Rambling & Rambling)
    Blessings

    Reply
    • Wow, what an awesome story! Glad you both got what you wanted – and that your new property will serve your needs now and in the future. It’s funny how our traveling needs evolve over time and we have the freedom and flexibility to adapt and go with the flow. Glad to know you were also ‘in tune’ with yourselves and each other, and able to make a quick decision when the opportunity presented itself and lined up with your values. Class A travel is awesome, we loved it – and wouldn’t rule it out again in the future – but for now enjoying the nimbleness of our little camper and our new little home. Honored to know we have been a part of your journey and inspiration. Thanks so much for taking the time to write and share your experience! Hope to see you down the road! Best of LIFE! – Julie and Marc

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  4. Congrats on your sudden change! (although I have to say I knew in my bones that it was coming!!). We too set out full timing with no exit plan, other than we’d know it when we saw it. Guess that’s how it worked out for you as well – so nice to be partnered with someone on the same page!
    Looking forward to following your adventures in 2021 – no matter how many miles are involved!
    Peace & Love, Joy

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    • Thank you very much. We had a feeling that some might suspect the change too. Nice that you and your partner were also aligned in a similar transition. Looking forward to sharing more with you in the year ahead. Thanks again -M

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  5. Well done! More evolution along your life’s journey.

    I’ve come to a similar conclusion: after nearly 5 years of fulltime travel, alternately in North America in my Class B and elsewhere with my carry-on, I too am looking for a lock-and-leave place to come “home” to … and then to leave again! Hub-and-spoke is a good description.

    Enjoy!

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  6. First, good luck with your decision. We’ve done the hub and spoke for years. I think there is a real market for someone to create road trips for RV’ers. We’ve met before, we now live in Georgetown TX but lived for 25 yrs in Evergreen. I know you’re from Colorado Springs so why the Western Slope?

    Jeff

    Reply
    • Thank you Jeff. Yes, I (Marc) lived my whole life on the front range of Colorado, including some time in your home town of Evergreen. As much as I loved growing up on the front range, and still having family there, the western slope really speaks to me. It is more of what the front range was to me as a child. I enjoy the slower pace and more space. I guess you could say that the western slope chose US as much as we chose it. Maybe we will share more road trips and travel guides in the future. We agree that there is a market for that. -M

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  7. Where in Colorado did you buy a house? (I know you may not want to share the exact city…how about a county? Western Colorado is pretty big and diverse!) (I live in Edwards, CO)

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  8. Congratulations!!! While the term “RV Lifestyle” fits us very well currently, we have always considered ourselves in a “Freedom Lifestyle.” This meaning more options. We are also planning homebase launchpads in a few spots around the US. We will still fell like adventurers and nomads. My bible for over a decade was “The 4-Hour Workweek” by Tim Ferris’s which outlines an amazing lifestyle of setting up your business so you can be flexible in location so you can immerse in other cultures, specifically internationally. Think “Live Pray Love” where the heroin goes to live in Indian Italy and Indonesia. This absolutely fulfills your mission. We also want the Casita to do more awesome campgrounds within the proximity of our launchpads with our Jeep, and we look forward to your dispatches doing your Casita adventures. You may not be “fulltime” RVers always, but RVers represent all things curious and adventurous about this big blue marble we live. Viva Julie y Marc. We will cross paths again.

    Reply
    • Thank you Brett for your great comment Brett. Love your vision for your freedom lifestyle. We also really enjoy the messages of the Tim Ferris 4-hour-workweek book, and love the idea of continuing to design our lives in a way that provide us with freedom, adventure and joy. Wishing you every continued success and joy! -M

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  9. I’m sorry you are leaving the full time rving lifestyle, but when ever we would go for a 6- 8 month excursion, I was glad to get home to our sticks and bricks house( in our case aluminium and wood, as we live in a mobile home park in So Cal). CC was so beautiful and you guys did such a great job on it. You are in a beautiful part of the country to live so am happy for you. Please take care and stay healthy, Happy Holidays ~ Steve and Dorothy Lamb

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    • Thank you Steve and Dorothy. Yes, as much as we loved traveling full time for over 6 years, we both are really enjoying the planted feeling of our fixed home right now, as you do when you return from your 6-8 month long trips, especially being in a beautiful part of the country. Be safe and healthy, and happy holidays too. -M

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  10. Merry, Merry Julie & Mark! Shock! Shock and joy for you both! We returned to stick & bones 3 years ago after 2 years on road. Now we rent an RV when we get the itch or a cabin at a camp ground is something we have done and will continue when safe travel resumes. Please be Safe, have a cheerful end to the year making way for a fresh & bright New Year! Serendipity works in mysterious and wonderful ways! Cheers & much Joy! Ron

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    • Thank you Ron. Sounds like you have found a great solution for you too. We also like the variety of renting RVs for different experiences without the financial commitment. Loved how serendipitous this major change was for us. Glad that we were both aligned on the decision despite having it come on so quickly. Safe and joyful travels to you too. -M

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  11. Wow! So happy for you❣️It takes courage to make a life changing decision! All our friends keep asking us when are we going to settle down (we’ve been doing this since 2010)! This year we have talked about it a lot but the question is where???? Do we go back to our home state MI to be with family & friends…Or do we find a new place & meet new friends??? It seems that out old friends and family we miss…so maybe northern MI should be the place!
    Thank you for your inspiration & courage!
    Merry Christmas 🌲🌲!!

    Reply
    • Thank you very much Rosa. Yes, it can be a big decision to choose a home base after so many years of travel. Congratulations on your 10 years of it. Being closer to family in Colorado was definitely a draw for us, but then, we also still love the climate here. wishing you success and joy in finding the right fit for you, and thank you again for your kind words. -M

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  12. Marc & Julie
    My wife & I were also full time RVer’s and just bought a 1000 sq ft house (double wide mfg home) just west of Tampa. We still have our 36 ft 5th wheel and are considering leaving that unit in our home state of Wisconsin so we will have 2 “home” bases. A winter and summer base. Then purchase either a small class C or travel trailer to do some part time RVing. This has been a crazy year and right now it just feels right to hunker down. Hats Off to you both for your new adventure.

    Mike & Sandy. Living the Dream

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  13. Always found what you guys do interesting. Learning about Rvs isn’t for sissies. I had several years operating heavy equipment so when I got an RV I thought I was ready, I was not. It took me about 4 years before I became comfortable. I still struggle.

    Of course, everything is easy when you know-how. Most people don’t do it because they are afraid to learn something new. Keep doing what you want and the more you learn the better off you are. Good Luck!

    Reply
    • Thank you for your compliment and for sharing Larry. Yes, RVing definitely has it’s challenges, but also filled with many joys. Looking forward to continuing sharing with others to help them have a smoother road to fulfill their dreams of extended RV travel. -M

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  14. Wow! What big news, Julie and Marc! Jeanne and I are very happy for you both and it does seem a natural transition for you…so “serendipitous” as you point out. It all sounds like it makes sense for you at this stage in your Life Journey together and we are glad to hear you so happy about the changes. 🙂
    However, to our surprise we also found ourselves feeling a rather melancholy as we read your news. As you mention, several well-known fulltime RVers, who like yourselves have been our inspiration and mentors toward our own fulltime RV’ing launch earlier this year, have also either left the road entirely, changed to part-time travel, or otherwise transitioned away from fulltime RV/land travel. It feels a little like we finally just arrived at “the party” and some of the people we most admire are leaving it just as we came though the door! I mean, we get it, of course…everything and everyone changes over time. We certainly did, as evidenced by our own monumental life-changing “Leap of Faith” this year to start our own journeys. I guess it’s just a natural progression of everyone’s lives, and certainly one impacted and perhaps hastened by the unimaginable craziness of the now infamous year 2020! And in fact, we’ve always maintained that one of the purposes of our own RV travels now is to explore and evaluate in what part of the country we might one day like to settle down as well. It’s all part of the [very fluid] plan. 😉
    We’ll just need to process our feelings, embrace change, and keep moving ahead.
    As we do that, we will definitely look forward to continuing to follow your adventures and wisdom! We are certainly relieved to hear that you’re not leaving all of us in your “community” entirely. That would be terribly sad!
    Jeanne and I wish you both all the best in your new home! Enjoy the different types of newfound freedoms you mention and have fun with your new travel style, too!
    A very Merry Christmas to you both, and we wish you a most Happy and Bright New Year as well!
    Erik & Jeanne…and Hershey pup.

    P.S. We still hope to meet you on the road someday so y’all can sign our copy of your amazing book! :-))

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    • Hi Erik and Jeanne, Ah yes, it came as quite a surprise to many, us included! We have loved our full time RV life – and whenever people asked where we would consider ‘settling down’ we never had an answer! We had NO plans to stop, and it wasn’t until this situation/place presented itself serendipitously that it felt so “right” we couldn’t NOT act. Talk about head spinning! It’s taken a while for us emotionally adjust, actually. We typically spend a lot of time researching and planning a LOT before making big life changing decisions – to be financially savvy and increase our chances of success with it. But this is NOT the end of the road for us! While 2020 has certainly been a year for many of us to take pause, step back, and reflect on the best scenario for us at this time, there are more more RVing miles in our future. We have some big work projects coming up that will honestly be easier for us to do from a home base, with less time spend packing up and moving etc. And in the name of adventure, we’ve haven’t wintered in Colorado for over 6 years, so its a fun change for us, and we have to say it is nice to be near family again too – especially with some personal family transitions taking place. We have missed being able to connect in person with our RV community since March of this year… but hope to be able to safely get out there again in 2021, and definitely look forward to meet you both (and Hershey pup too!) – we would love to sign your copy of our book! Who knows – maybe book #2 may be out by then too? We love seeing how much the RV lifestyle agrees with you, and seeing the photos/updates that you share. Traveling the country is a great way to get a feel for different places that may potentially be a home base for you… and from what we’ve learned, as long as you know yourselves well – and are clear on the most important things that support your next phase of life – once it shows up it will be immediately obvious, so be prepared to act! The craziest thing to us is how quickly and easily this all happened – it’s like the Universe sent us something we didn’t even know we were looking for or ready for…. until it showed up. Fortunately, the two of us are on the same page and the situation/timing was ideal for both of us. But we have many more years of RVing ahead of us and we are looking forward to getting out in our Jeep and Casita camper – and also trying other RVs (rentals) out – just to mix things up as we really enjoyed our RV rental experiences in Florida and Texas earlier this year. Happy New Year to you all! Stay safe, well, and take care of each other! See you down the road! – Julie and Marc 🙂

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  15. occasional Congratulations to both of you. Have a good holiday and relax. My husband I are occasional campers because when you live in Wisconsin near Minnesota the RV is put to sleep in Oct. and doesn’t see daylight until May. Well in January of this year we just decided to move and did that in March during the pandemic. We are now in northern Florida and able to go on trips all year. Like you,we saw the house and had an accepted offer in 24 hrs. Went home put our house up for sale and 3rd showing sold it.

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  16. Glad to read you were brave enough not to get locked in to your RV lifestyle, and smart enough not to “just” do a complete 180. I imagine you’ll make one more slight modification down the road somewhere in life.
    Where abouts did you land in western Colorado?

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    • Thank you Larry. Yes, we are sure there will still be more modifications in the future as we continue to grow and enjoy a life of adventures. As you said, we are very glad we are able to have our casita and Jeep to continue traveling, not a full 180. Sorry, but we are keeping our new home location to ourselves for now. Wishing you the best!

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