Does “be setting off” mean "start"? What are the other expressions?
Yes, in this case, the expression "set off" or "setting off" can mean to "start". The expression "set off" in general means to cause something new to happen, so here it also has the meaning of traveling. You can use similar words such as "begin", "embark", "depart" or "journey", as well as expressions like "set forth", "set out", "start out", and "set sail". Ex: He will soon embark on a solitary life. Ex: They will journey south on their road trip. Ex: Tomorrow I will set forth on a new adventure. Ex: They set sail for France today.
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