Inside Malia Obama’s Private World After Growing Up in the White House

Malia Obama was ready to strike out on her own after high school, let alone once she finished college.

After committing to Harvard, the first daughter spent a gap year traveling and interning in New York, almost like a normal kid. Not counting the bodyguards and private jets.

She started off with a trip to Liberia and Morocco in July 2016 with sister Sasha Obama, mom Michelle Obama and grandmother Marian Robinson to promote the Let Girls Learn Initiative. The Obama family went on their usual summer getaway to Martha’s Vineyard.

And toward the end of the year, Malia spent 83 days in Peru and Bolivia, where she lived with a family in the town of Tiquipaya, a trip so unpublicized that no one knew she was gone until after she got back to the U.S.

“She was very humble, chatty, spoke Spanish very well,” Gregorio Mamani, one of the guides on a five-day hike Malia took through the Cordillera Real mountain range, told The New York Times. “She was mesmerized by the Bolivian landscape.” Minus the added security, all of those on the excursion were expected to look after themselves and Malia reportedly acquitted herself admirably, doing her share of the cooking and other chores. 

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