It's no secret that Michelle Obama was ready for her husband's administration to come to an end. "It's time," she told Vogue writer Jonathan van Meter in the magazine's December 2016 issue. "I think our democracy has it exactly right: two terms, eight years. It's enough."
So how has the former first lady been spending her first few months post-White House?
This week, she's in Italy, seemingly living her very best life with a suitcase full of trendy off-the-shoulder shirts.
She and Barack are traveling in Tuscany on a six-day vacation, and are reportedly staying at Borgo Finochieto, which Travel + Leisure described as an "800-year-old village unto itself, with 22 bedrooms, a formal dining room, a ballroom, a library, a professional teaching kitchen, and a wine tasting cellar."
It may not be the presidential residence, but it sounds like it'll do in a pinch.
This isn't the first vacation the Obamas have enjoyed this year - the couple visited French Polynesia with famous friends like Tom Hanks, Oprah, and Bruce Springsteen back in April - but in general, the the former first lady seems to be enjoying the simple pleasures of civilian life, like going to a Soul Cycle class or packing her own lunch, according to a new profile in People.
In recent weeks, she's been easing back into the public eye, giving speeches at an event for National College Signing Day and at the American Institute of Architecture's annual conference. She and Barack also donated $2 million to summer jobs programs in Chicago.
But, Obama's longtime deputy chief of staff Michelle Winter told the Washington Post in January that the first lady plans to spend some time readjusting to civilian life before diving into her next act.
"I really think the most important thing is to give her time to breathe and get acclimated to being a private citizen again, knowing that she doesn't have to tell people where she's going to go, and we don't have to put out an advisory if she's going to go walk around a museum," Winter said.
"Because she's not the president, we don't feel the same sense of urgency" to start on something right away, Winter continued. "When she's ready, our group will come together, and we'll do strategy. And we'll talk about what does the first event for the new Michelle Obama look like. How do we want it to feel, and how does she want it to feel?"
In the meantime, Obama will be settling into her new home in the Kalorama neighborhood of Washington, D.C., an 8,200-square-foot house where the first family will reside, at least until their youngest daughter Sasha finishes high school.
A memoir is also in the works for the former first lady. She and Barack signed a joint publishing deal in late February with Penguin Random House. While the exact terms of the agreement are unknown, the advance is reportedly around $65 million.
"Probably down the line [there are] many books in her," said Winter. "I think she'd be a wonderful children's book author. We haven't set up a process for that, [but] down the line it would be a natural way to exhale from an experience like this."
Whatever comes next for Michelle Obama, be it publishing or politics, the world will be watching.
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