After eight years in perhaps the most demanding and important job position on the planet, Barack Obama certainly deserved a break. The former President and his wife, Michelle, joined their billionaire pal Richard Branson in the British Virgin Islands just days after leaving office to enjoy a relaxing tropical vacation.
Cameras caught the former first couple traveling from a private long weekend in Palm Springs to the islands on Branson’s private jet. A handful of security guards were in tow, as well. Barack and Michelle were both all smiles, sporting casual get-ups that were a far departure from their typical elegant attire. Spending time at one of Branson’s private islands, the couple both stayed comfortable in shorts and sandals, soaking up some sun and cheerfully greeting bystanders and taking photos.
For the most part, the Obamas have remained quiet when it comes to politics since leaving the White House, though Barack did release an official statement in January after President Trump announced contentious plans for a travel ban. The statement from his office said:
‘President Obama is heartened by the level of engagement taking place in communities around the country. Citizens exercising their Constitutional right to assemble, organize and have their voices heard by their elected officials is exactly what we expect to see when American values are at stake.’
Speaking to a local newspaper, staff on Moskito Island told reporters that the Obama family and their entourage were enjoying their time on the island. While Branson’s daughter was also present for the trip, Barack and Michelle’s eldest daughter, Malia, was in New York working an internship with Harvey Weinstein. It wasn’t clear if Sasha, the youngest Obama daughter, accompanied them on the trip, as she wasn’t present in any photos.
After a few more weeks of relaxation and regrouping, Barack eventually announced a return to the public with an event at the University of Chicago. The event, designed to encourage civic engagement among youth, was held in April. His office said that the event was “part of President Obama’s post-presidency goal to encourage and support the next generation of leaders” around the country.
Obama first came to Chicago as a community organizer back in 1985, and he later taught constitutional law at the university’s law school between 1992 and 2004, just before becoming a U.S. senator.
The former president and his wife have taken at least three vacations since President Trump was sworn into office, including Palm Springs, the Caribbean, and Polynesia.