Barack Obama recalls thinking ‘you can do anything’ during 1st U.S. mainland visit

The former president reflected on his first time leaving Hawaii during a new episode of his podcast

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During a recent episode of their collaborative podcast Renegades: Born In The USA, former President Barack Obama opened up to Bruce Springsteen about his first trip from Hawaii to the contiguous United States.

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According to PEOPLE, Obama remembered a trip he took at the young age of 11-years-old with family members, flying into the mainland for a cross-country road trip. He traveled with his mother, grandmother, and younger sister.

“I remember looking out of Greyhound buses and looking out of trains and looking out of car windows,” said Obama, according to the outlet. “Just miles of corn or miles of desert, or miles of forest, or miles of mountains.”

He continued to describe his feelings, “I was just thinking, ‘Man, imagine where you can go. You can go anywhere, and by implication, you can do anything and be anybody.'”

Former President Barack Obama. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The family trip started with a flight to Seattle, according to the report. They then traveled by charter bus to San Francisco and then to Los Angeles. After California, the Obama family traveled to Arizona, Kansas City, Chicago, and Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.

“My grandmother drove but she’s starting to go a little blind,” Obama says on the podcast with a laugh. “I remember being put in the front seat at around twilight so that I can direct my grandmother properly as we’re hitting some of these turns in the road.”

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theGrio reported the Obamas’ production company Higher Ground Productions is behind the podcast cohosted by the legendary musician.

Renegades: Born in the USA is “an eight-episode podcast featuring President Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen in deep and revealing conversation with each other, exploring a wide array of topics including race, fatherhood, marriage, and the state of America.” The series is described as, “a personal, in-depth discussion between two friends exploring their pasts, their beliefs, and the country that they love—as it was, as it is, and as it ought to be going forward.”

The podcast is exclusively streamed on Spotify.

Barack And Michelle Obama Speak At Obama Foundation Summit
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – OCTOBER 29: Former U.S. President Barack Obama gives his wife Michelle a kiss as they close the Obama Foundation Summit together on the campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology on October 29, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. The Summit is an annual event hosted by the Obama Foundation. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Although the former president has not lived in Hawaii for years now, he and his family visit occasionally and stay at their rental property. theGrio reported Barack and Michelle Obama visited the Aloha State during the holiday season last year.

The couple was photographed by The Daily Mail kayaking during Christmas time in Kailua Bay. The pictures were taken near Plantation Estate, where the Obamas have rented a home since they were in the White House. 

Mrs. Obama looked stunning in a gold swimsuit while the former president was clad in swim trunks, sunglasses and a cap. The couple appeared fabulously fit as they paddled around the bay. Former First Daughters Sasha and Malia Obama were not photographed by The Daily Mail, but it is believed that they are also in Hawaii. 

This article contains additional reporting from theGrio’s Biba Adams and Jared Alexander.

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