Nearly a year after former U.S. President Barack Obama left office on January 20, 2017, he revealed how he spent his first day off in an interview on David Letterman's Netflix show, "My Next Guest Needs No Introduction."
And it was pretty mundane: "I slept in, which I was pretty happy about," Obama told the former late-night television host.
"It was great, I did not miss the trappings of the office," Obama added. "I sort of enjoyed puttering around the house, trying to figure out how does the coffee maker work and fighting with Michelle for closet space."
Without much delay, Obama took his wife, former first lady Michelle Obama, on vacation to billionaire Richard Branson's own private island Necker Island, located in the British Virgin Islands.
"I took Michelle on a holiday. I missed my wife, we hadn't kind of hung out. So we spent 10 days and had a wonderful time," Obama said.
In an interview for the release of his book "Finding My Virginity" in 2017, Branson recalled several moments with the former president and his wife.
"The first words Michelle said as she stepped onto the island were, 'we're free!'" Branson said. "They had 10 wonderful days, they could let their hair down. Barack spent the whole time out on the water learning to kitesurf and we had a friendly competition which wasn't so friendly, he won. He's a fit, healthy guy."
Branson noted on the last night of the couple's stay, Obama threw a party for the staff and by the end, he knew every single person's name, down to the cleaners and dishwashers.
"It was magical, hopefully magical for them, it was magical for all of us to have them there and give them a good chance to have a proper break after eight years of hard work," Branson said.
Upon returning to Washington D.C., Obama said he and his family stayed in the area because his younger daughter Sasha was still in high school.
"We had gotten a house a few blocks from where I used to live," Obama teased, referring to their $8.1 million mansion in Kalorama, located just two miles from the White House.
By the time Obama and his family settled down in their new home, he told Letterman he didn't feel relieved, but rather proud.
"I think there was a sense that I had run the race, I had completed it. I was proud of the work we had done," Obama said. "I was ready for the next stage."
Compared to how quickly life moved for Obama as president, he found that, comparatively, "everything felt like it was moving in slow motion."
He gave the example of his million-dollar Penguin Random House book deal: When Obama's book agent said his publishers were eager to take the next step, Obama was ready to meet the next day. The agent responded by saying, "Oh no, it's going to take two weeks to set it up."
"I had to explain to him where I'm coming from 'right away' means if we don't do something in half an hour somebody dies," Obama said.
Nonetheless, the former president anticipated what lay ahead. "The stereotype of former presidents is you're kind of sitting around your house, waiting for somebody to call and you're kind of lonely and don't know what to do," Obama said. "But the truth is, it felt exciting."
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