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  • To Jab or not to Jab, that is the question

    Right now it seems as though we can divide everyone in the world with this one question "Have you been vaccinated?" For some, the answer is easy. You have your reasons as to why you are or aren't getting vaccinated, but for a good majority of the world's population there is still some indecision. Now, for those that love to travel and have been missing that part of our lives, there may only be one answer to this question. The reality is that you are going to have to get vaccinated to suffice the entry requirements of a lot of countries around the world in 2022. As we are starting to get a good hold on the pandemic, mostly through the vast amount of vaccines that are being distributed around the world, many countries have had a glimpse of what life is going to look like post-covid. And with this view, they do not want to go backwards. Many countries rely heavily on the tourism industry, and are desperately hanging on for the pre-covid tourism visitors to come back. For this to happen, they can not afford to have any further breakouts that would put them on the 'red' list as a destination that can't be travelled to. The simple solution for them is to get their own population vaccinated, and allow only vaccinated visitors to enter. This will tick a lot of boxes, allowing them to operate their tourism sector and bring in many valuable dollars to help prop up their economy. Is it fair? Probably not. Is it discrimination? Most likely yes. But the worldwide pressure to get a hold on this virus that has crippled the tourism industry like nothing else we've seen since the tragic events of September 11th 2001, is at an all time high and most economies can not survive another year of these travel restrictions. We need to get on with life, and for many the enjoyment of life for them is to travel, explore and visit family around the world. If the jab allows us this freedom to do so, then you know what has to be done. One thing that we do need to remember is that before this pandemic, many countries already had these sort of vaccination entry requirements in place (eg: Yellow fever Vaccination Certificate), so adding the Covid vaccination to this list may just be the reality of free travel between countries. Sadly the propaganda around getting the jab is high, and in a way, this blog is adding to it, which is putting a lot of people off. No one wants to be told what to do, and when it's being forced down your throat 24/7, for many the natural reaction is to rebel. But for those of you that love to travel, it may be time to switch your mindset and understand that the reality of travel in the future is that many countries will not allow you to enter without a Covid vaccination and put their people and economy at risk. If you want to enter their country, you have to respect their customs, culture and rules. If a vaccination against a virus that crippled the world for almost 2 years allows us to enter, then that's the least we can do. Just to be clear, we're not choosing sides and saying that you have to get the jab, but have a think about where you would like to go on vacation next year and what it would feel like when the customs officer doesn't allow you to board the plane because you haven't been vaccinated. This sadly might be the reality for some, and enough of a reason to get vaccinated. If this has been enough motivation to get the jab, our advice is to get it done ASAP before this becomes an official entry requirement for many countries in 2022, and the waitlist to get vaccinated goes beyond your desired travel dates, forcing you have to wait another year for that dream vacation you've been dreaming about since March 2020. We want to see you on our tours in 2022. Do what you need to do to get there. xx

  • OUR TOP FOODS YOU MUST TRY IN TURKEY

    Turkish food is definitely one of the highlights that you will remember long after your visit to this amazing country. From delicious local treats, to the smells of the street food, these are our top foods you must try when on tour with us next Summer. KEBAB Don’t leave Turkey without trying one of the most popular (and delicious) meat dishes in the Northwest. A play on the traditional Döner kebab, this dish consists of thinly sliced lamb served with a warm tomato sauce over pieces of traditional bread. Topped off with generous helpings of yogurt and butter, you’ll be left licking your plate clean. TURKISH DELIGHT Don’t be fooled by the pink, sugary imitations you may have sampled in the past – Turkish Delight in Turkey (or Lokum, as the locals call it) is like nothing you’ve ever tried before. Consisting of mouth-watering combinations of chopped dates, pistachios, walnuts or hazelnuts, you will find this treat comes in a range of colourful flavours to suit your tastebuds. TURKISH RAVIOLI (MANTI) Pasta-lovers, prepare yourselves. Turkey has its own version of Ravioli! Little handmade dumplings are filled with ground lamb or beef, and then topped with a creamy yogurt sauce. Manti takes a lot of time to prepare, but once you’ve tasted a bite, you’ll see that the hard work pays off. MEZZE Rest assured, you probably won’t leave Turkey without being served Mezze, which is a small selection of dishes commonly served with drinks or before a meal. Turkish Mezze often consists of yogurt with herbs, hummus, rice-stuffed vine leaves (dolmas), meatballs (kofte), eggplant salad, white cheese and of course, delicious, warm pide. Could there be a better way to start a meal? BAKLAVA It’s sweet, it’s rich, it’s almost too good to be true. Layers of flaky pastry are complemented by finely chopped nuts and held together by syrupy goodness. This dessert originates from the Ottoman Empire, and can now be found on virtually every street corner in Turkey. Order one for dessert in a restaurant or grab one on the go. No matter which way you eat it, it still tastes scrumptious. It’s a classic, and definitely one of the foods you must try in Turkey. SHISH KEBAB An absolute classic meal, you’ll find this on the menu at most restaurants. Chicken, beef or lamb is grilled and served on a skewer alongside sides such as rice, salad and fries. It may be simple, but it’s still a tasty meal. APPLE TEA Apple Tea is possibly the most delightful tea that will ever tickle your tastebuds. Luckily for you, there is no shortage of this warm, sweet nectar of the Gods. You will find it in virtually every café, restaurant and house you go to. Tea (or çay) is a very big part of Turkish hospitality. You will find that even shop owners sit down for a cup of tea with their customers. Now there’s a good sales technique. GöZLEME Possibly one of the easiest fast foods to find in Turkey, Gözleme is the perfect snack to eat on the go. Similar to a crepe, this savoury Turkish flatbread is made from hand-rolled dough and is filled with various toppings, such as cheese, meat, vegetables or potatoes. It’s then sealed and cooked over a griddle. Try one of the cheese and spinach variations – you won’t regret it. For sure one of the foods you must try in Turkey. KARNIYARIK (Stuffed Eggplant) Karniyarik is a big, warm eggplant stuffed with ground meat, onion, black pepper, tomatoes and parsley. Generally accompanied by Pilaf, this dish is hearty, full of flavour, and perfect for a filling meal. CORN ON THE COB You can’t walk far in Istanbul without seeing the billowing smoke of a roadside vendor and the scent of freshly cooked corn. A street food classic, these vendors really know how to perfectly grill corn on the cob. It’s a perfect snack to have on-the-go. Just remember your toothpick! SIMIT Another very popular street food, Simit lies somewhere between a pretzel and a bagel. The cheapest snack you’ll find on the streets, this circular bread is typically encrusted with sesame seeds and can be eaten plain or with preserves like jam, cream cheese or, for an extra special treat, Nutella. ETLI EKMEK Pizza-lovers, Turkey has got you sorted. Along with the classic Turkish Pide, Etli Ekmek is another pizza-like dish which originated from a town called Konya. An extremely long, thin piece of flat bread, normally over a meter in size, is topped with meat and cheese and then cut into smaller pieces. Yum. DONDURMA (Turkish Ice cream) It may look like normal ice cream, and it may even taste like normal ice cream, but Dondurma has a texture unlike any other ice cream in the world. The ingredients used make it resistant to melting and impart a sort of chewiness to the consistency. If these unique qualities don’t convince you to give it a try, then perhaps the sellers will lure you in. Dondurma vendors are known for putting on spectacular shows, spinning around giant masses of ice cream on long paddles and playfully flipping cones upside down. Hungry for more? Get on board our Turquoise Delight sailing tour and let our local chef take you on a Turkish food journey. #Food #turkey #Top5list #TopTips #Europe

  • Top Tips for Solo Travel - Meeting new people

    Regardless of if you're travelling solo, with friends or your partner, the best thing about travel is the people you meet along the way. But as a Solo traveller, sometimes taking that step out of your comfort zone is tough. You know it'll be worth it, but how do you go about starting a conversation to begin with? Break the ice Who cares what you say, just say something! Heck, talk about the weather! Put yourself out there that you are up for a conversation, and see what comes back. At home this might be strange to do on the packed train on the way to work, but you are not at home now, take that leap and strike up a convo! Most likely the other person is also happy to have a chat also, and if not, smile and try the next. No harm done. What to say Don't overthink it. All good conversation starters should feel natural, so just give it a go. Didn't go well, then mark that one down as a loss and try again with the next. Are you seeing a theme here? Don't get hung up on being the perfect charismatic traveller that everyone wants to be around, just be yourself and see what comes back. Here's some good conversation starters to get you going; Where are you from? Where have you been on this trip? Where to next? It's my first time travelling solo. Any good tips? Keep the questions travel related, because that is one thing you can guarantee that you have in common. All travellers love to share their travel stories. You as a solo traveller will surely have some great ones to share in no time! It's not a date! Just because you are chatting to someone from the opposite sex, it doesn't have to feel like a date. Let down your walls and be open to a chat. For guys this is a lot harder as unfortunately there's been plenty of bad eggs before you, so don't be offended if the girls have their guard up. Be friendly, without being creepy! Girls, give the guy a chance. Remember how hard it is as a solo traveller to strike up that conversation. Find the group As a solo traveller, it's going to be intimidating to bust in on a group having a chat, but more often than not, groups abroad are a mish-mash of solo travellers anyway. You're all in the same boat (so to speak), so they’ll likely be very receptive and welcoming. When all’s said and done, you just need to pluck up the courage and make the move when it comes to approaching new people while travelling. What’s the worst that could happen? Didn't go well? Don’t take it personally. It’s all in the practice, and the more you do it, the easier and more natural it'll get. Go for it!

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  • Maldives Island | Maldives Island Hopping tour | Summer 2021 | Koda Sail

    MALDIVES ISLAND HOPPER MALE´ TO MAL E´ SEE ITINERARY Malé to Malé 7 Nights Let's just call this one 'The Bucket List Trip!' ​ In just one week you will be ticking off some huge bucket-list experiences starting with the biggest of all, swimming alongside the largest fish in the sea, the majestic Whale Shark! You'll also get to search for other sea-life such as the Reef Manta Rays and the Green Sea Turtle, both local to the Maldives. Explore a shipwreck, go Dolphin spotting and try your hand at night fishing, or take it easy and enjoy a poolside cocktail at the resort. All this while swimming the crystal blue waters, watching stunning sunsets, eating amazingly delicious food and making some fun life long friends along the way. Let's tick off that list! Tour Highlights Start your days by watching the sunrise from a secluded beach Jump off the boat into the crystal blue waters on our daily excursions Eat lunch on a sandbank in the middle of the ocean! Get up close and personal with the local Whale Sharks Join the search for Manta Rays and Green Sea Turtles Try Stand-Up Paddle boarding (SUP) or parasailing Night Fishing & Fresh Seafood Dinner See the famous water bungalows of the Maldives Explore a ship wreck & enjoy dolphin spotting Scuba-dive in the clearest and calmest waters in the world Enjoy cocktails by the pool while at one of our resort visits Live it up on our very own boat party! 2022 TOUR DATES BOOKING ENQUIRY What's Included THE ACCOMMODATION 7 Nights Hotel Accommodation on Local Islands Air-Conditioned Twin Share or Double rooms with Private en-suite Included meals: Breakfasts x 7. Lunch x 2. Dinners x 2 Beach towels Housekeeping with fresh linen and Bathroom towels Free WiFi at hotels ​ 2 x bottled water each day THE TOUR Your very own Koda Sail team of guides with you all week Orientations of all of our destinations Speed Boat Transfers between islands Speedboat Airport Transfers (start & end of tour) INCLUDED ACTIVITIES Dive with Whale Sharks Explore a sunken Ship Wreck Swimming with Nurse Sharks Dolphin spotting & Sting Ray feeding Sandbank lunch in the middle of the ocean! An opportunity to help the Dhigurah beach clean-up project Discounted 3rd party group activities such as; Scuba Diving, Night Fishing, Cooking Class & Resort days! Contact us for a full list of excursions available THE ITINERARY Day 1: Saturday MALÉ to DHIGURAH After meeting your Koda crew at the airport, we head to the Malé International harbour to embark on our journey and head for the picturesque Island of Dhigurah on our private speed boat. During the boat ride we will catch our first glimpse of the famous over water bungalows that have made the Maldives famous. ​ We dock in the port of Dhigurah in time for sunset and check straight into our first hotel. Tonight we'll enjoy an included rooftop dinner and get to know your new Koda fam that you'll be enjoying the week ahead with. ​ If you think today was a fun start, get excited as tomorrow we get to swim with Whale Sharks! Day 2: Sunday WHALE SHARK EXCURSION This morning you have a chance to join in with the Dhigurah Beach Clean up project and help keep these beautiful bea