ED’S LET­TER

Sonya Schoe­man moves on to new ad­ven­tures as Justin Fox takes over as ed­i­tor of Get­away

Getaway (South Africa) - - CONTENTS -

Our new ed­i­tor Justin Fox re­turns to where he started

Why do we travel? To find our­selves, to lose our­selves, to be re­minded of the beauty of this mirac­u­lous planet and its peo­ple. To ex­pe­ri­ence the world in the fullest way and to em­brace dif­fer­ence. At its best, travel can set us free and bring us to our bet­ter selves. When I was six years old, my par­ents took me to Europe. I’ve never quite re­cov­ered from that jour­ney. To see the great sights of the con­ti­nent at such an im­pres­sion­able age was bound to have se­ri­ous con­se­quences. The travel bug bit, and bit hard – so much so that my cho­sen ca­reer was travel writer. I joined Get­away as a ju­nior jour­nal­ist in 1998, re­plac­ing the in­spi­ra­tional Pa­trick Wag­ner, who died soon after in a plane crash while on as­sign­ment in Kenya. I cut my teeth un­der suc­ces­sive ed­i­tors: David Steele, David Bris­tow, Don Pin­nock and Cameron Ewart-Smith. From each, I learnt in­valu­able lessons about what it takes to steer South Africa’s most trea­sured travel ship. When Sonya Schoe­man be­came ed­i­tor in 2014, the pub­lish­ing in­dus­try was in a slump and sales where fall­ing. She stead­ied the ship and, re­mark­ably, turned sales around in a mar­ket where most magazines were on the slide. Much credit must go to her ed­i­to­rial skill over the last four years. We thank her and will miss her dearly. Now it’s my turn at the helm, ex­actly 20 years since I first joined this com­pany. Over that pe­riod I served as pho­to­jour­nal­ist, deputy ed­i­tor and Get­away In­ter­na­tional ed­i­tor, and then spent a few years as a free­lancer, roam­ing widely in Africa and abroad, and writ­ing travel books. But the cy­cles of life are funny old things. Some­times they bring you back to the very place you started, as though it were the most nat­u­ral step in the world. It’s a task of great re­spon­si­bil­ity filled with much ex­cite­ment. Get­away is the coun­try’s old­est travel mag­a­zine and sets the bench­mark. It’s our job to con­tinue bring­ing the best, af­ford­able, lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional travel op­tions and ideas to our read­ers; to tell in­spir­ing sto­ries packed with use­ful in­for­ma­tion and ac­com­pa­nied by world­class pho­tog­ra­phy. But travel is chang­ing fast and our read­ers are ad­ven­tur­ous folk. With the growth of the likes of Airbnb and Uber, bucket-shop air­lines and myr­iad travel apps, pod­cast guides and smart­phone GPS, the ground is mov­ing un­der our feet. How­ever, amid all the noise and clut­ter, you still need a re­li­able voice, a guide who re­ally un­der­stands travel and is com­pletely trust­wor­thy. Most travel-in­for­ma­tion por­tals rely on in­ter­net re­search; Get­away still puts boots on the ground and val­ues time in the field above all else. It’s a source you can re­turn to again and again … and de­pend on. My shelves at home are packed with dozens of old Get­aways stretch­ing back to the 1980s. I still read them and marvel at the qual­ity of writ­ing and pho­tog­ra­phy and the in-depth re­search. That won’t change on my watch. But this is only a cus­to­di­an­ship. One day I’ll hand the mag­a­zine over to an­other awed, bright-eyed ed­i­tor. Hope­fully it will be in as good shape as Sonya and her ex­cel­lent team have handed it to me. South Africans are trav­el­ling like never be­fore. With Cyril Ramaphosa in charge (check out his ridicu­lously hand­some cat­tle on page 64), there’s a new con­fi­dence in the air. Our econ­omy looks as though it’s turned the cor­ner (hold both thumbs), Zim­babwe is ris­ing from Bob’s ashes and tourism is boom­ing. Get­away is here to serve your travel in­ter­ests and de­sires. Talk to us, tell us what you like and don’t like, and what you want more of. Speak to us on Twit­ter (@ Get­awayMagazine), Face­book ( face­book.com/Get­awayMagazine) or email ed­i­tor@get­away.co.za. And en­joy this is­sue,

On Get­away as­sign­ment, Mozam­bique, 1999

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