I Must Look Back–Looking Back at 2016

It’s been a busy year. Sometimes I kind of feel like the tower in that picture to the right, drowing in stuff to do. This is one reason you haven’t seen much from me here at I Must Be Off! apart from the wildly successful annual travel writing competition. I’m so glad and frankly stunned […]

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An Interview with the 2016 I Must Be Off! Travel Writing Competition Judge, Paola Fornari

Travel writer Paola Fornari was born on Ukerewe Island in Lake Victoria, Tanzania. She has lived in a dozen countries over four continents, speaks five and a half languages, dabbles in several others, and describes herself as an expatriate sine patria. In every new posting, her curiosity leads her to explore every corner of her […]

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The Great Out-There by Jonny Blostone

The story starts at the end. I’m on a Kuwait Airways flight from New York to London sprawled across an empty row on a Boeing so old it sounds in pain trying to stay aloft. I’m half asleep but cold from the air conditioning. And nervous, and sad, after everything. I’ve been travelling the world […]

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My Nod to the Essential

Looking back at I Must Be Off! over the years, I see that I haven’t written about my travels as much lately as I did, say, three years ago. I’ve been traveling, just not writing about it. It may have started with my being attacked in Nice, or it may just be the gravity of […]

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Signage Gone Wrong

Yeah, I’m kind of a boring tourist. Something wild and crazy could be happening to the left or to the right, but I’m taking a picture of a sign because “its” (possessive) is spelled with an apostrophe. When it all comes down to it, there are aspects of life that are much more important, so […]

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An Island in the Baltic Sea by Pamela Hensley

My cousin Martin lives a clay-tiled house on an island in the Baltic Sea. Set back from the road, or what they call a road, a single lane of concrete slabs placed one after the other an axle-width apart, the house is one of four or five on a stretch of land above the shore. […]

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Feathered Nights by Sofia Lavista

This must be the end of civilisation. The Argentinian pampas and clear sky stretch out to infinity. We are in the north-eastern province of Entre Ríos, which, as its name states, is sandwiched between two rivers: the Parana and the Uruguay. Until the late seventies, it was an isolated island of gauchos herding cattle. Still […]

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On a Terrace in Peru by Stacey Venzel

Mistakes abound when you’re frolicking in a foreign country. Language barriers, wrong turns and cultural faux pas are common threads between travelers. I once asked a waiter at a restaurant in Latin America if I should “sentirme” instead of “sentarme,” the difference between “feel myself” and “seat myself.” In Portugal, I took a path less […]

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Crossing the Gibb by Gillian Brown

‘Gooday! This is Radio 3JR. Y’all having a good time out there? Down the Gibb River Road. On the stations. As far as your ears can hear? Next up is Slim Dusty.’ As our 4×4 Toyota campervan judders over the corrugated dirt track, I turn up the volume. Australia’s brand of Country & Western fills […]

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Burning My Boots in Cabo Fisterra by Gabriella Brand

“Come with me to the ends of the earth,” joked Miguel, a handsome Andalusian who was young enough to have been my son. “The ends of the earth?” I repeated, unsure if I had understood his rippling Spanish. We were strangers who had just met a few hours before. Both of us had taken shelter […]

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