Kpan Town, Liberia

Photo: Libassa Ecolodge
Photo: Libassa Ecolodge

It’s Thursday, which means everyone is posting photos with the hashtag TBT. Pictures of newborn babies, college roommates, and cute puppies are filling your news feed. But your mind isn’t on a single moment on this Throwback Thursday. You’re thinking about an entire trip.

A few years ago, you had the opportunity to visit Liberia. It was an exciting time for the West African country. After years of civil war, the country was prospering. Liberians, who had run to Europe and the U.S., were returning in droves. The national football team looked promising. While the capital, Monrovia, was welcoming tourists from around the world. That excitement was squashed by the Ebola outbreak in 2014.

Your trip to Liberia started in Monrovia. But unlike most visitors, you left the city after a few days and headed down the Atlantic coast. The central coast was once known for its iron-exporting ports. They, along with the railroad, were destroyed during the wars. It was now full of palm and mangrove forests, plus endless golden-sand beaches. You made a beeline for one of them in Kpan Town.

Libassa Ecolodge sits at the end of a sandy road. It’s surrounded by a botanical garden, tropical flowers, and colorful butterflies. A crystal-clear lagoon, encircled by palm trees, is on one side. That golden-sand beach, strong waves, and the endless Atlantic are on the other. You stayed in a stilted Palm Tree Lodge set high among the palms. You ate grilled grouper at the open-air restaurant. You watched for Diana monkeys to come out of the forest. You canoed on the lagoon, walked along the beach, played in the waves, and stared at the impossibly starry sky at night. And you promised to return. That’s why you’re thinking about Liberia on this Throwback Thursday. Hopefully, you’ll have a new post from there soon.

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