Updated: Jan 29, 2019
I know many of you were probably wondering how exactly my trip to Liberia was. And to sum it up in one word it was FANTASTIC! It was truly the trip of a lifetime. So, let’s jump right into the details. I’m sure your wondering how much was the flight, was the food good, how is the culture, and etc. I will break each of these topics down to you and explain in detail my experiences. But, first I want to tell you a little bit of the back story behind me and my husband going to Liberia. For those who didn’t know my husband is from Liberia and he still has family that lives there. Before we went together to Liberia he went back to visit in 2016 and 2017. When he returned back to the U.S. he would always brag about how much fun he had and etc. So, we made a vow that next time he goes we would go together.
In 2018 we finally made that happen. We went in October and stayed there for a full two weeks. It’s always been on my bucket list to go to Africa and for it to finally have happened was so surreal. Liberia is a small country in West Africa. It’s also right off the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. The population is approximately 4.7 million people. As for the weather it is HUMID. In other words, on top of the weather being hot mixed with the humidity it makes it feel even hotter. With that being said let’s jump into the other details of my trip.
We booked our round trip tickets online through a third party website, in the month of July. Each ticket was affordable, but the price depends on the time you purchase your ticket. For the flight that we booked we had two overlays. The first one was in New York and it was 8 hours. The second was in Morocco and was about 13 hours in total. Due to the overlay being super long the airline allowed us to get a hotel, which came with food and transportation back to the airport, to our next flight to Monrovia, Liberia. It took us a full day to get to Liberia. The down side of being on a plane for that long is that you are totally exhausted. So our overlay in Morocco was not spent exploring the city it was spent sleeping. However, the advantage of the overlay is that it gives you breathing room to stretch your legs and have an opportunity to be in a different setting. No one wants to be stuck on a plane all day no matter how entertaining the movies or music they provide on the plane.
There are quite a few fancy and modern hotels in Liberia. However, if we decided to stay in a fancy hotel we would end up spending a ton of money that we preferred not to. So, when it came to our living arraignments we preferred to stay in a guest house. This way we would have more space and save more money. Where we stayed during our vacation we had two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room, and a kitchen. It also included basic amenities and utilities. Not to mention the place was fully furnished. I loved that the most. When you have a place already fully furnished it just makes it feel like home away from home.
My favorite topic, because who doesn’t love to eat right? Any who, the food was absolutely delicious! I don’t think I can stress it enough. For starters I was already familiar with African dishes, especially the Liberian ones. There are many different dishes that they make. Just to name a few some include okra soup, potato greens, and kidney bean soup. Kidney bean soup is one of my all-time favorites, so when I ate it there I was definitely pleased. Our auntie and grandmother did a lot of the cooking, but we still went out and experienced some of the restaurants they had in town.
One popular restaurant we visited was called Fuzion. They served African dishes, but also had American dishes on the menu as well. Surprisingly, a lot of the restaurants in town were modern and reminded me of the U.S. However, there are local restaurants that aren’t as developed, but the food is just as great. So, if you plan on visiting Liberia one day I’d say be open minded and give these restaurants a chance too. In fact, at the local restaurants they serve pretty good portions of food for only $5 USD. And yes, you heard me correctly. So, you can save yourself a lot of money on a meal by checking them out.
While I was in Liberia I got a couple of questions regarding what the culture is like. In my opinion the culture for the most part is westernized. For example, boys and girls go to school, work, and are free to their political beliefs. I do feel there are certain role expectations. For instance, women are typically expected to cook and clean the home and the men go out to work and provide for the family. From what I observed many people in the country may not have a whole lot, but they take pride in the things they do have. They are also friendly and love to have fun!
There are different things to do while in Liberia. We were in the city, so we didn’t see any exotic animals walking around. Perhaps, if we were in a more rural area with a lot of forest we might have seen some. But, despite not seeing any cool animals we had a blast doing other things. I got my hair braided for only $25 USD at Stiles salon. It came out beautiful and I would certainly visit this salon again. In addition, we went to a couple of karaoke bars. I love to sing, so I’m always down for a good time at a karaoke bar.
Of course we went shopping. There were lots of shops in the city on the road and we did some shopping there. We also checked out the mall. It’s fairly new. It’s only been open for about a couple of years, so there weren’t many stores inside. However, it was still a good experience to check it out. Along with shopping we did some sight-seeing. My husband showed me some historical buildings and took me through a mini tour of where he grew up. It was very humbling to see where he grew up in person. It’s such a stark contrast from where he is today.
In conclusion, Liberia was amazing! The land and the people left such a great impression on me. I’m literally already planning another trip back to the Motherland. But, until then I’ll just be stuck with my beautiful memories. I hoped you enjoyed me telling my experience in Liberia. Feel free to take a look at some of my pictures below from Liberia. If you have any questions or comments regarding my trip to Liberia, please leave a comment below or DM me @nursekimdarpoh on Instagram.