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Barack Obama Talks About His ‘Memorable’ Self-Discovery Trip To Europe And Kenya

By Leah Freeman-Haskin

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Even former President Barack Obama needs some “self-discovery” travel time every once in a while. While attending the World Travel & Tourism Council’s Global Summit 2019, Obama spoke about a solo trip he took in his 20’s through Europe and Kenya that was both “memorable” and “special.”

“I’d never traveled to Europe before. That trip was memorable because it was part of my self discovery,” he said. “I did not have any money. I was traveling alone. In Europe, I was in these ‘pensiones’ [hostels] and I’d basically buy a baguette and cheese and ate that every day, and some wine on occasion.”

RELATED: Traveler Story: The Part Of Kenya They Don’t Tell You About

Obama also traveled to Kenya for one month, the land where his late father was born. The trip was a reconnection with his roots and his father whom he only met once in his life. “I wanted to understand him and understand the land he was from,” Obama said.

During this trip, Obama went on safari and met Kenyan family members for the first time, calling the experience “very special.”

“Those kind of trips are memorable because they’re part of you as a young person traveling and discovering what your place in the world is,” he said.


As a father, Obama finds travel even more essential. “Traveling now with my children is now what’s most important,” Obama said.  “There is something spectacular about seeing a new place, being exposed to new ideas and experiencing a new culture. Traveling makes you grow. But as a parent, when you are able to watch that sense of discovery in your children’s eyes? That is more special than anything else.” 

RELATED: Here’s What Barack Obama Has To Say About Travel And Tourism

So, what’s next on Obama’s travel list? According to Travel + Leisure, the Former President is set to visit Taj Mahal in India, Patagonia in South America, Antarctica, and Brazil.

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