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Advice On Relocation
updated: Mar 20, 2014, 3:55 PM

By Edhat Subscriber

I have a few job opportunities and would love to know what others think - we can relocate to Seattle, Portland, Denver or Albuquerque. We would like to live somewhere other than SB for a while (we both grew up here, are in our 20's, etc).

I know many of you will say "Oh, don't you love SB?" My answer to that is that some people do and some don't. I like SB just fine, but I don't LOVE it and want to live somewhere I enjoy more.

Asking for real advice here, not knocking on SB.

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 504529 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-20 04:02 PM

I grew up in town and have had a number of friends and coworkers who have moved out of state.

The caveat is that it is often very hard to come back later.

Things are cheaper elsewhere, but the pay is lower too.

The people I know are divided - either happy they left and never plan to come back or happy they left for awhile but now want to come back and can't afford to.


 COMMENT 504532 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-20 04:03 PM

Of the list I have only been to Denver and I thought it was awesome. People are nice, it's a healthy area, lots of things to do AND direct flights to SB for a good price so if you get homesick it's easy to get here and takes about 2 1/2 hours. I consider moving there because of all of these things and may just do it soon!


 COMMENT 504537 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-20 04:06 PM

I think it depends on your vibe. Seattle and Portland are similar in that they're big cities that can have a young, almost 'party' scene. Personally I think that the most 'similar' to SB would be one of those.

I don't know much about Denver or Albuquerque.

I'd suggest seeing if the company(ies?) will send you and whoever "we" is to the cities for a long weekend. You can rent a car and explore potential neighborhoods, check out the area around the potential office, and try to get a feel for what the locals do.

Best of luck! Moving can be exciting and fun, especially if you're ready to try something new!


 COMMENT 504538 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-20 04:08 PM

Seattle: Rainville
Portland: Hipsterville
Denver: RelocatedEastCoastChadville
Alburquerque: Alburcracky


 COMMENT 504550 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-20 04:21 PM

They are all very large cities. If you are okay with traffic and masses of people...


 COMMENT 504552P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-20 04:21 PM

I agree with 529 that if you own property here, don't sell it because it's very difficult to come back.

My daughter lives in Portland and loves it. Oregon is a beautiful state with lots of opportunities to explore, but the trade-off is lots of rain and months where you won't see the sun. Be sure to take Vit-D supplements there! Portland is pretty easy to get around and an easy drive to get to the beach or to the mountains. There doesn't seem to be as much gang activity there as there. Public transport is incredible there along with biking opportunities which always struck me as ironic since the weather is an impediment to biking 1/2 the year (at least for me!). I'd live in the same quadrant of town as your jobs are because commutes can be terrible if you work standard hours. Watch Portlandia! It's a humorous but pretty accurate depiction of life in Portland!

My sister lived in Seattle years ago and loved it. I found the weather and ease in getting around to be challenging and I'd visit, but not live there! I don't think job opportunities are very good there, but it sounds as though you have jobs squared away. I don't know the current crime stats, but that's easily found. If you go there, take Vit-D supplements!

My daughter went to school in Denver and didn't care for it. Housing was affordable, it's pretty easy to get around and there are lots of sunny days. My daughter found it to be cold and very dry to the point of dessication. There is lots to do in Denver. Be prepared to have your lotion bill increase dramatically, but you won't need to invest in as much Vit-D supplements!

I know nothing about Albuquerque except it's fun to say and spell!


 COMMENT 504553 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-20 04:22 PM

I love all of those cities. I, personally, would choose between Portland and Denver.

Denver might be a fun change, especially if you can live in Boulder ... it's a neat town! I was in Denver for a conference in December once and downtown was gorgeously lit up and there was snow! Yeah, I think I'd go Denver for a "change"...


 COMMENT 504554 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-20 04:22 PM

definitely Seattle or Denver. Weed is legal in these two states. They have a better grasp on reality and are pushing back against the drug war. My brother lives in portland, it is very nice and they do have more beer breweries and strip clubs per capita than any other city in the US but finding a place to rent is extremely difficult. Easier time finding housing in Denver or seattle. Mountains or the pacific northwest. That is a question only you can answer. I am going to recommend Denver unless you are foodies, then Portland is the place for sure. Good luck and happy trails.


 COMMENT 504555 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-20 04:24 PM

Seattle is #1 in the U.S. for people with college degrees (BA, BS, Etc)
Portland is the most progressive of the 4 listed with respect to environmental issues. Denver being the mile high city could take some acclimating for tne altitude (breathing, exercising, cooking, and canning) and, I know nothing about Albuquerque.


 COMMENT 504557 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-20 04:29 PM

First off you're very smart to want to leave SB and try a big city. If you stay in SB during your 20's you will never build the career or the character that you would be going out into the world. SB is not changing and you will not miss anything. It will be the same when and if you come back. Go!

I think you need to ask yourself what it is you're seeking. If its culture or a big career go north to Seattle. If its personal growth (facial hair of course) or your career is in the arts or food, try Portland. If you hate rain move to Albuquerque. And if you love the snow, mountains and the wholesomeness of the Midwest, go to Denver.

Albuquerque is not really a big city as there isnt a lot of business there but NM is beautiful and the weather is nice most of the year.

Denver is a big city and is in a lot of ways a bedroom community. So check it out before you go as you may not like the city itself.


 FANGIRL agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-20 04:56 PM

I also vote for Denver (actually Boulder) or Portland. I have been to both places and if I were younger, would probably consider relocating to either for a change of pace.


 COMMENT 504592 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-20 05:27 PM

It is a wise decision to move out of Santa Barbara and the state of California. Good for you! I'm sure you could find a nice area in any of the 4 places you mention.
I can only tell you about Seattle. My daughter lived there for 8 years. It is gloomy at times. Misty more than rainy. If you have a problem with the constant June gloom that can happen here at times, Seattle may not be for you. It is, however, an exciting big city with lots to do, see, and experience. When the sun comes out it's wonderful!


 FLICKA agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-20 05:30 PM

Sounds like you got some good information here. Good luck!


 COMMENT 504613 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-20 06:47 PM

I have SB native friends in Seattle and Denver vicinities.

Seattle ones mostly hate it. Gloomy or raining almost always. Terrible transit management.

Denver ones generally like it but not in winter if they haven't become snow people. And not in summer if there's a massive fire everywhere but that could happen here this summer too.


 COMMENT 504622 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-20 08:08 PM

@557 is right. I left here poor at 29 and returned at 34. My cohorts were still in the same socioeconomic class, but I came back to a new job at a much higher level than when I left. Leaving and coming back really paid off, and my employer respected my out-of-town experience and more worldly views. Not boasting - it's just SB realities....


 COMMENT 504624 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-20 08:10 PM

Denver, don't look back.


 COMMENT 504633 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-20 08:49 PM

I'd say Portland or Seattle. Seattle rain does get to some people. It didn't bother me. Everything is so green. I've always said if I leave Santa Barbara, I'd head back up north. I haven't spent time in Denver, but I've also enjoyed other areas of Colorado.


 COMMENT 504637 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-20 09:01 PM

I was born and raised in SB and still love it... But, if I had to move to one of the places you mentioned, it would be Seattle. I have been there many times and have really fallen in love with it. I really like the culture, nature and the people. Somehow the rain does not bother me when I am there, maybe it's because I know I can come home to SB?? All I can say is go for it, whatever you choose! You are in your 20s, why not?! Good luck to you!


 COMMENT 504643 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-20 09:53 PM

I guess Honolulu is out of the mix?


 COMMENT 504654P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-20 10:48 PM

I grew up in the Midwest and lived on the East Coast for many years before moving here. I've also traveled to many areas of the U.S. There is something wonderful about every place and something not so wonderful. That said, the first time I saw Boston, I knew that I had to live there. So, there are definitely places that call out to us more than others. I do think that moving away fosters personal and professional growth, and you never have to wonder what if you'd taken that chance. On the other hand, once you pull up your roots, they're never quite as deep in any one place again. I feel like I belong to a lot of places now. For a long time, I thought that I would move back East again one of these days. Now, I think I'd like to spend some time in Hawaii for part of the year, but Santa Barbara is home. (I can also say I don't love it here. I like lots of things. For a variety of reasons, though, it's home now.)


 COMMENT 504662P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-20 11:33 PM

When people are young, they naturally want to check places other than where they were born and grew up. I think this is a healthy, mind-expanding thing to do.

But I have *never* known any SB emigrés who did not long to come back when they were older--and it is VERY hard to return to this beautiful and pricey town if you do not already own property here.


 COMMENT 504663P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-20 11:36 PM

Sure do appreciate that Portland has a good transit system. Was impressed one can travel from the airport downtown quickly and inexpensively. Was very surprised however a few days later to be in a traffic jam that seems to be daily and starting a little after 3 pm when the freeways were like bumper to bumper. There's a lot to like in Portland. Have never seen such a concentration of tattooed people, ink up and down legs and elsewhere.


 COMMENT 504666 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-21 06:22 AM

Go!! I moved several times to better my career, when I was in my 30s. I love it here but after retirement I plan on leaving the country...will keep my property in the event I choose to come back.


 COMMENT 504682 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-21 07:21 AM

Of your choices there, looks like Albuquerque is "The Undiscovered Country", and offers the best chance for adventure outside of actually moving to another country.
Go for it. If you need to return here, you will find a way.

Don't forget to wear sunscreen and take a towel. Don't look back...enjoy!


 COMMENT 504683 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-21 07:22 AM

Seattle!!!!You will get over the rain when your young mind is engaged in a vibrant, living, breathing city like Seattle. I regret not moving there. But hey I don't hold on to regrets, just let them swim on by....very insightful of you to want to experience something other than what you are told is paradise...Was it Gertrude Stein who said....Yea, it's paradise, if you can stand it.


 COMMENT 504688 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-21 07:44 AM

I moved to Oregon quite sometime ago from S.B.. Lived near the ocean on the hill below Campanille between Hendrys beach and Hope Ranch. In the summer we had fog roll in in the evening and clear around 10am.
I feel I would not trade the rain here for the fog there. Everything is green. Have a granddaughter in Portland. They enjoy all the places to hike. Skiing in the winter. Lots to do. Another granddaughter is in Seattle and loves that. Spring has sprung here and it makes up for any chilly days of winter. Summer days are long and gorgeous. I love visiting S.B. But I do not wish to move back.


 COMMENT 504689 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-21 07:46 AM

The grass is always greener .........

Happiness and discontent come from within, carry on baggage one takes everywhere.

I was happy in France, Britain and Australia and intend to end my days here in Santa Barbara where one has it all. Ocean, mountains and an excellent climate. No need for vacations.

If one is not sure and has to ask a bunch of total strangers, better to keep moving on until you find out.


 COMMENT 504705 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-21 08:18 AM

I lived in SB from 1947-1951, 4th thru 7th grade..

Roosevelt Elementary to Santa Barbara Jr Hi. I will be spending a week there this coming june and wonder if anyone from those classes are still around.

I remember and Mrs VanHorn from the 5th grade and a Mr Rambeau from the 6th. Some classmates I vividly remember are Bobby Wilder, Tim Gorman, Marc Ahern, Bobby McAll, Elizabeth Han, Marsha Peterson, Rudy Holtzapple, Susan Woggans, .

My name is DeWayne Bremer and I live in Happy Valley Oregon.

Thank you for any response or advice as to how to get in touch with any of these classmates from another time. DB


 SANDYINSB agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-21 08:25 AM

One of my favorite old adages:

An old man weary from travel sits down near the gates of his city. A young man approaches and says "Tell me Old Man, what are the people like in this city?" The old man thinks for a moment and says, "Well, what were the people like from the city you left?" The young man says "They were liars, cheaters, and thieves." The old man says "Well, that's exactly what you'll find in this city too." So the young man walks on in search of another city.

As he continues to rest, another young man approaches and says "Tell me Old Man, what are the people like in this city?" The Old Man asks, "Well, what were the people like from the city you left?" The young man says "They were kind, generous, and loving people. I love new places, but hated to leave." The old man smiles and says "Well, that's exactly what the people are like in this city too." So the young man helps the old man to his feet, and together they enter the gates of the city - toward home.

How many morals did you find in this story????


 COMMENT 504716 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-21 08:33 AM

So true Sandyinsb. This is true in every aspect of life.


 COMMENT 504722 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-21 08:37 AM

Lived in Santa Barbara for 45 years and glad I moved away to find my own paradise. Denver's nice but it's a big city and I only go there to fly back to SB to see my friends. Albuquerque is one of biggest city's in the state of NM but very pretty and colorful, I only go there for Trader Joe's and the balloon festivals..

Good luck! On what ever you do deiced to do you won't regret it


 COMMENT 504723 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-21 08:39 AM

It appears that the avg age of an Edhatter is somewhere near 60... People talking about their grandchildren and their elementary school in th e 50's are not the right folks to ask... As meaningful as they are, they haven't a clue what the real world is like today for a 20 something.

Move, you can always come back. If this is home, you can come back when and if you find a career and or a path to income.

Santa Barbara is many things, but a good place for a young couple it is not... Move to Seattle, work in the real world for a few years and the lessons and experiences you gain will do you wonders if you do come back.

You will find the friends who stayed here to be lagging in their professional lives, their personal growth and their motivation. The kids who stay in SB will be the ones serving you dinner and coffee in their 40's while you and your family dine out and enjoy the fruits of your labor and your hard earned perspective.


 COMMENT 504735 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-21 08:53 AM

Great choices. Don't buy into all the bias everyone has here for this town. Is it great? Yes. Do we need to hear about it every day? No. As a traveling man, the WORST part about my visits to other cities is dealing with the "Oh you're so Lucky to Live in such a BEAUTIFUL Place!" I mean, what do you say to that? "Yeah I am! You suck!" Um... No...

So okay, list in order of preference. This too considers activities, neighboring suburbs, up and coming potential, proximity to travel, etc.

Denver - Got it all but Ocean and great people.
Seattle - Sweet and if you love the mountains? Perfect.
Portland - Same as Seattle, almost a coin flip. Albuquerque - Kinda desolate. Lots of poverty but still ahs potential.


 COMMENT 504750P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-21 09:15 AM

All I am going to add is that I applaud you for wanting to try living someplace else. Yes, Santa Barbara is lovely, and all that stuff, but so are the other cities you listed. If I were a young 20-something, I would definitely try Portland, Seattle, or Denver - lots of opportunities.

Too many people who have grown up in Santa Barbara never leave - it's like a vortex that keeps them here - and then they miss out on opportunities for personal growth, in my opinion.

If you don't own property, there's no harm in leaving and then trying to come back if you want to. If you own property, like some of us older folks, it's a different matter entirely.

Anyhow, good luck to you!


 SBSURFERLIFE agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-21 09:21 AM

I'm in my late 20's and have lived in SB for 10 years. I do love it here but I also wouldn't mind moving somewhere else for a while. If had to choose between those cities, it would be Seattle hands down, no question. The family and friends that live there say the "bad weather" is a total misconception they tell tourists so they don't move there. It's beautiful, fun, a lot to do, so many different neighborhoods to choose from, and the people are really friendly.

Let us know what you decide!


 COMMENT 504760 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-21 09:27 AM

I live in Santa Barbara and Portland and familiar with your top picks. Culturally Portland and Seattle are most similar to SB. Seattle has more job opportunities and no state income tax but is more expensive, has even worse weather and traffic. Portland was just rated the #1 large city in the U.S. and I agree. Rentals are plentiful (and half the price of SB), the food/beer is fabulous, and its smaller so more walkable/bikable. That said, I'm moving full-time to SB next year since there's no better place to be. Don't be surprised after you bank some bucks that you'll be back.


 COMMENT 504763 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-21 09:35 AM

Seattle and Portland have a lot of vagabonds like SB. Not sure if Denver or Albuquerque have same problem.


 COMMENT 504765 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-21 09:40 AM

OP - You failed to mention what your job skills and career aspirations are. This can make a huge difference. Plans to start a family? that too can make a big difference.

Of all the places you listed, ABQQ is gonna be the smallest town with the least big-city feel, but it will still have some of the big city problems like crime. The other three have suffered from decades of urban sprawl and while that has alleviated some central city problems for part of their populations, it can also trap you into long commute times and get you in a mode where you spend half your waking hours in the car (unless things have changed, none of these cities have public transport as useable and user-friendly as Santa Barbara and only Portland even begins to come close).


 COMMENT 504784 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-21 10:01 AM

If you have an opportunity you really should take the leap - you're in your 20's, now is the time. I'd say New Mexico just because the Northwest is such a cliche for folks your age.....good luck w the sdventure


 COMMENT 504786 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-21 10:11 AM

ABQ is an absolute DUMP. Do not move there - high crime, drugs, etc. Denver, Seattle, and Portland would all be better choices. Seattle and Portland similar in terms of weather, so if you don't mind rain, go ahead. Denver is a great city, but beware - they have weather and seasons (unlike SB). Thunderstorms, occasional tornados, hot weather, and snow.


 COMMENT 504794 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-21 10:26 AM

If you love skiing, snowboarding, hiking in the mountains, fishing, boating great bike trails and rain and grey skies day after day don't depress you, then Seattle is great. Lived there many years and loved the outdoor nature part of it. Go visit for a week and do and see as much as you can and see if it fits your lifestyle.

The traffic is as bad as Los Angeles and you are always driving in the rain and dark in the winter when days are short.

I think for a couple of years you might enjoy the lifestyle change.

It's good to explore and experience other cultures and lifestyles when you are young, especially before you have children and being close to parents and family is not as important as it will be someday.

Have fun deciding and come back and let us know your choice and how you like it.


 COMMENT 504820 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-21 11:08 AM

Having grown up in SB and moved on to experience living in 3 other towns/cities I never regretted those decisions. It will enrich your life even if you end up moving back a couple years later. Seattle was one of those cities and I know Portland fairly well too. Both good candidates, but the gray cloud roof did get pretty old.


 EARO65 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-21 11:45 AM

Eugene, Oregon, just don't sell your SB house, not just yet.


 COMMENT 504846 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-21 12:08 PM

SEATTLE! I left SB for Seattle, lived there for 4 years. Seattle has an amazing quality of life, much more to do both indoor and outdoor, and amazing mix of people. I think the weather makes people a little nicer up there - 4 years and no road rage - intelligent drivers that realize tailgating is not smart in a wet environment! TONS of work with great pay and no state income tax! The weather can get depressing, but everyone has to deal with it - so it's that commonality thing.

I also have friends who left Seattle for Portland. I have to agree with them, Portland is it's own joke. If you're a hipster, great, you'll fit in. If not, then you may find it a bit annoying (Portlandia is actually a reality series. Serious.)

And then there's Denver. What was I talking about?


 COMMENT 504848 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-21 12:08 PM

I wouldn't even consider ABQ for many reasons already listed. Portland is the "only" city I would live in in OR. It's a college town & has lots of the advantages that come along with that. I would definitely consider Seattle if you're looking for a larger city. Denver is too large for me. Boulder CO has a lot of the nice things that Santa Barbara has but no ocean. I grew up in Chicago (a great town) and would not want to live anyplace that is not near a big lake or ocean.


 COMMENT 504859 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-21 12:36 PM

My husband and I moved here, leaving all family and friends 2500 miles behind us, in our late twenties. You learn a lot about yourself(ves) when you venture out into the world. We do consider this to be paradise compared to other places we've lived and visited, but our kids, raised here, do not. They are mid-20s and have grown and learned a lot about themselves by spreading their wings and exploring other parts of the US, and soon, one will be moving to Europe. Life is too short and the world is too big to sit still in one place if you have the option not to. Go for it!


 AUNTIE S. agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-21 05:47 PM

My son lives just outside of Portland and one of my daughters lived in Denver for about 10 years and I visited them both many times and love both places. flights to Denver (both cities actually) from Santa Barbara make it easy for family to visit as well as to go onward from there to any destination in the US. While I like the outdoor lifestyle of Denver, I think Portland as a city has done a magnificent job of its downtown and probably has more cultural outlets and is more like SB in that regard, Plus - their great light rail system!


 COMMENT 505054 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-21 08:08 PM

Seattle, Portland, Denver or Albuquerque? Been to all and I'd choose Seattle, Denver, then Portland, forget Albuquerque due to recent nuclear leaks above and below ground, work is hard to get quality of peeps ugh.... Seattle is hoppin and lots of other cities and countryside and beaches very close nearby and tons to do all the time including the culinary expertise you must experience all that great tasting food and the underground culinary, music, art & homesteading experiences, I'll go back again. Portland is next, have family there work is harder to get depending, don't forget to sign up with temp agencies while you look for work. Food service was always work but lacking in bucks, and the culinary explosion there hopping too, overall I'd go to Seattle, plus it does get pretty sunny there and the hiking up Reineer is awsome, boating awsome, easy travel across The Soun to Canada ! Good Luck and Have a Blast!


 COMMENT 505102 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-22 06:24 AM

Tough love time, dude; here's the deal: you grew up in Santa Barbara and you will not be happy in a town that doesn't get sunlight more than 85% of the year.
Albuquerque will work, Denver, Portland, and Seattle will have you hating life in less than a year, suicidal in less than two years.
Also, those towns are nothing new, full of hipster doofuses all doing the same things in the same places you have here.
Albuquerque is different, new, but most important for a native SB person...it's sunny. Don't underestimate what it means to live in a sunny environment. This is purely physiological.


 COMMENT 505219 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-22 11:52 AM

I grew up in S.B. and lived in L.A. for many years. My husband was transferred to Albuquerque. We've been here 15 yrs. and it's definitely different than S.B. As in all cities, it has it's beauty and it's ugly (even tho "Breaking Bad" was filmed here doesn't mean the whole city is like that!). You find your own happiness wherever you are. We have sun most of the year. It snows occasionally since we are at 5,000' (depending on where you are in the city). It's "a dry heat" so even at 60 deg. you could wear shorts and a t-shirt. We have skiing, camping, hiking, biking, dancing, the biggest hot air balloon fiesta in the country, lots of history and Native American culture. If you already have a job opportunity, that's even better. Good luck on your decision.


 COMMENT 505567 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-24 10:28 AM

OP here, I decided to read this thread days after while I thought about what we are going to do. Thank you so much for all the thoughtful responses. To clarify for many of you, I am a female and the "we" I refer to is my boyfriend and I. We do not own a home, we are not planning a wedding (yet) and we do not have children. Both sets of parents live local so when I run the worst case "we fail and come back" scenario in my head, we have somewhere to return with local addresses. In addition, Irvine has been added to the list. For the one who asked, I work in sales and have many years of experience for someone my age. My boyfriend has the talent to back him up where he goes as well (in his industry for almost 7 years).


 COMMENT 505796 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-25 09:34 AM

I loved 846's comment that there was no road rage in Seattle. The flip side is that everyone goes 65 in every lane and you can't get anywhere. I'm not a fast driver but it was maddening, like everyone is on lithium.

Many people get transferred every few years and have no choice where they go. I know a family that grew up in Wisconsin, spent years in Portland, moved to San Jose and loved our climate but then transferred just outside Detroit. He loves his life there too. Happiness comes from within.


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