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Meet Obama: The President And The Wanderlust

Travelers Today       By    Joem Cua

Updated: Oct 04, 2016 07:43 AM EDT

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President Obama is nearing the end of his term and now has a handful of accomplishments, efficient stands on various issues and success stories on his overseas state visits during his eight-year service. But hidden behind the travel logs of his diplomatic visits is his growing list of side trips to famous tourist spots. President Obama, like most people, is fond of traveling. Given the machineries and opportunities he has, it shouldn't come as a surprise.

Aside from being the President with the most social media presence, he's also the most travelled, in terms of visiting famous spots, among his predecessors. From the pyramids of Egypt, Great Wall of China, the Stonehenge in England, a Bob Marley museum in Jamaica, the Colosseum in Rome and even the 2000-year-old ruins in Petra, Jordan just after he attended the Mideast peace negotiations. A testament to the President's overwhelming desire of seeing and experiencing the wonders of the world.

In an interview with The New York Times to Jon Meacham, a president historian, he likened the visits of Obama to Thomas Jefferson's France travels and called it a "Jeffersonian impulse" and added "He's intellectually curious." He's also admirable to the President's difficult task of planning the visits without disrupting the main focus of his overseas affairs. "He's trying to replenish his intellectual capital in a job that really just demands expenditure of that resource" said Jon.

Compared to other leaders that came before him, Obama is the most eager when it comes to tourist destinations. George W. Bush only spent 30 minutes in The Great Wall of China when he visited while Bill Clinton was known to have tours on late night schedules.

These travels however were not free of criticisms. A group called Judicial Watch has raised concerns about the expenses of these tours. However, the precise cost of these would be indeterminable as it lumps with the expenses of official visits. On Obama's side, these visits are not purely for leisure as it also raise global awareness and serve vital diplomatic purposes.

Missing checks on his bucket list though is the visit to Taj Mahal, the Angkor Wat in Cambodia, and to zip across the frozen tundra in Antarctica where his official state business got in the way of schedules. Now that he only have a few months as a President and recently just made his last official overseas travel in Southeast Asia, Obama may not fulfill his checklist anymore as a President but as an ordinary citizen, backpacking in the outskirts of Siem Reap, maybe.

See Now: The U.S. had the highest number of Most Wanted properties, dominating the Hotels.com Loved By Guests Awards 2018

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barack obama, United States of America
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