When former President Barack Obama finished his term in the White House last January, his wife and First Lady, Michelle, exclaimed "We're free", according to Richard Branson's new autobiography.

The former US leaders traveled down to the billionaire Virgin executive's Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands shortly after Obama handed the White House over to President Donald Trump.

Upon greeting Branson on the Caribbean island, Michelle Obama told him, "We're free", and told his staff to call her and her husband by their first names rather than their formal titles, according to Daily Mail.

"It's so nice to have my name back after eight years", Branson recalled Michelle Obama saying in his new book, Finding My Virginity, which also mentions his other famous friends including Bill Gates and the late Nelson Mandela.

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Branson said that at the end of their ten-day trip, the Obamas treated his staff to a thank you party.

They were "dancing with us, getting the party going, making everybody feel at home and welcome", Branson wrote in the book.

The vacation also marked Obama's return to his love of watersports, activities he couldn't participate in while he served as president.

From left: First Lady Melania Trump, President Donald Trump, Barack Obama and Michelle Obama during Trump's inauguration. Photo / AP
From left: First Lady Melania Trump, President Donald Trump, Barack Obama and Michelle Obama during Trump's inauguration. Photo / AP

He learned how to kite surf while on the island and challenged Branson to see who could stay up the longest. The president won the challenge.

Michelle Obama spoke out about what life was like in the white house during a tech conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, last month.

"It's like being shot out of a cannon while drinking from a fire hydrant blind," she explained as she told of how she got used to her new way of living.

"You have to tell The White House what kind of toilet paper you like. You don't know where your forks are."

The couple spent eight years in the White House as Obama served as the 44th US president.

Mrs Obama said that the biggest challenge was raising two young daughters, Sasha and Malia, "under the glare of one of the harshest and biggest lights".

She told those present how she and the former president Barack Obama would go to parent-teacher conferences with a 20-car presidential motorcade in tow.

As the world's most famous parents they would often be asked to take photos in the school stands at sporting events.

Meanwhile their daughter's would require Secret Service protection at proms and even first dates.

During her time as first lady, Mrs Obama focused on improving education and encouraging kids to take up more exercise and eat healthier lunches.

But, according to the Salt Lake Tribune which watched the open discussion, she also appeared to show relief that she was no longer in the White House: "Freedom! I'm out," she said with a smile.

When Mrs Obama was asked how she views the world "right now," she didn't answer with words but rather cringed and groaned before remarking, "I don't have much of a poker voice."

Although she never once mentioned Donald Trump by name, she admitted that "things were tough right now".

"We are looking at two different administrations," she said, referring to her husband's administration versus President Trump's. "One administration was built on hope, while the other administration leads with fear", she said.

Mrs Obama said she "continues to be hopeful" that the political climate will improve.