Exalate Goes to Turkey: A Journey Beyond Boundaries


Or why did the Exalate team dance the Macarena on the Bosphorus cruise

In the enchanting embrace of Istanbul, where the timeless essence of the East harmonizes with the allure of the West, Exalate crafted a special chapter of togetherness. This vibrant city, pulsating with history and flavors, provided the backdrop for our globally diverse team to paint memories transcending geographical and cultural boundaries.

Exalate’s journey, spanning over a decade of innovation and growth, reached a milestone worth celebrating. Originating under the iDalko brand, 2023 marked a pivotal moment as Exalate officially set sail on its independent voyage. As we embark on this new chapter, our commitment to the vision of building a global network of connected companies continues to guide our course. 

This is the story of Exalate in Istanbul, where every step echoed the vibes of a diverse team united by a common purpose—a purpose to explore, connect, and create memories that would linger long after the journey’s end.

Day 1, October 19: A Warm Welcome to Istanbul

Following countless virtual meetings, our global team finally landed in Istanbul, uniting from various corners of the world.

After a tasty lunch at the hotel, we gathered for a warm welcome from our co-founder, Francis. His friendly words captured the spirit of our shared mission, adding a personal touch to the excitement for the adventures ahead.

In the spirit of bonding, laughter, and joy, we relished delicious traditional Turkish dishes at the welcome dinner. Glasses clinked in shared enthusiasm, and the room buzzed with conversations as diverse as our team’s backgrounds. Handshakes and warm hugs were exchanged, creating a connection that set the tone for the days to come.

The adventure began with a blend of togetherness, laughter, and the promise of unforgettable moments.

We figured out how to make jet lag laugh—it’s the only way to travel! Now, off we go to Day 2, where the real fun takes flight!

Day 2, October 20: Work, Play, and Exavibes

Our journey into self and team discovery kicked off with workshops that revealed our personalities as a vibrant blend of colors, forming a unique mosaic within our diverse team. These sessions not only deepened our understanding of each other but also laid the foundation for better teamwork.

The day took a lively turn as we hit the streets of Istanbul for a Street Food Walking Tour, adding a playful treasure hunt for some extra fun. We enjoyed tasty street food, unlocking the charming secrets of Istanbul. Some even glimpsed their future through the ancient art of Turkish coffee fortune-telling.

The highlight? A breathtaking daylight cruise on the Bosphorus to celebrate co-founder Francis’s recent birthday, imagine our entire team in masks of his face, dancing the Macarena, and serenading him with a special song composed and dedicated to him.

As the sun set and the Bosphorus sparkled under the moonlight, our team, dressed up for a classy dinner, continued the night’s flow at a dance club in the city’s heart. 

Our adventure continued not just with steps but with a rhythm uniquely our own, reflecting the many ways we, at Exalate, embrace and enjoy the journey together.

Who said we can’t get fancy? Join us on Day 3, where we turn up the heat—both in the kitchen and the dance floor!

Day 3, October 21: Food Fun and Istanbul’s Beauty

We turned chefs at Deraliye Restaurant, cooking up laughs and tasty dolma rolls in a friendly competition.

After a delightful lunch, the team, fueled by newfound culinary confidence, set out to explore Istanbul’s gems, immersing ourselves in its history and vibrant culture.

The day elegantly concluded at 360° Restaurant, where the views matched the heights of our party spirit. Against the backdrop of Istanbul’s illuminated skyline, we celebrated the collective energy that defines Exalate’s truly exceptional journey.

Spices aren’t the only thing sizzling in Istanbul! Get ready for Day 4, where we dive deep into relaxation and celebration.

Day 4, October 22: Leisure, Exploration, and Dancing in the Moonlight

In a delightful escape within the city, we delved into the enchantment of the Basilica Cistern. Wandering through its ancient halls, we felt the echoes of history, linking us to the Byzantine Empire—a moment of shared exploration that deepened our bonds.

Continuing our journey, we indulged in the time-honored traditions of a Turkish hammam, where saunas, steam rooms, scrubbing rooms, washrooms, salt rooms, and pools became the setting for our collective relaxation.

The day wrapped up with a Black & White theme dinner boat cruise. Beneath the night sky, dancing along the captivating Bosphorus, which gracefully divides Asia and Europe, echoed Exalate’s mission—to bridge gaps across systems, teams, and companies.

Day 5, October 23: A Grateful Farewell

At Exalate, diversity defines us—it’s not merely a word but a fundamental aspect of our identity. We take pride in being proactive, in sync, and enjoying the journey. This trip was more than a getaway; it embodied our values, resonating with the true spirit of Exalate, where collaboration knows no boundaries.

Returning to our virtual desks worldwide, the echoes of laughter and the warmth of our shared journey linger—a testament to the strength of the bonds we’ve built, ready for what may.

As we bid adieu, we carry a treasure trove of beautiful shared memories and the embrace of newfound friendships.


A big, heartfelt thank you to the visionaries behind this amazing journey—Hilde and Francis, Exalate’s founders, always steering us toward new heights.

Your team is geared up, ready to bring our A-game, standing firm by your side, and ready to conquer challenges together!

A special tribute to Sherene, our fearless HR maestro, for orchestrating flawless planning that made every moment a breeze for everyone.

Kudos to our awesome mate Yasemin, the local gem on our team! Thank you for not only sharing the local ways and her big smile, but also for the killer video that beautifully captures the essence of our journey.

So, why did we dance the Macarena on the Bosphorus cruise? 

It’s the Exalate way—synced moves, shared smiles, and a whole lot of good vibes!

Feel the #exavibe!

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