Aidan Walsh was delighted to have the chance to recharge his batteries at the start of the year as it gave him the opportunity to see what he is missing.
Walsh spoke to Conor Counihan late last year in the hope of taking some time off to travel around Australia and he was grateful to be given the opportunity to tour the east coast with his team-mate Ciaran Sheehan.
Having watched friends and family depart Ireland for adventures elsewhere, Walsh was delighted to have had the chance to experience it for himself and he admits it also gave him the chance to get to know one of his biggest rivals, Bernard Brogan.
"The last few years have been very busy with the GAA and it's been tough to try to go for a break. You'd see a load of friends going away on J1s and wonder are you missing out on it," Walsh explained to the Irish Examiner.
"You don't want to look back and regret not ever going for an opportunity like that. My cousins are over in Australia and I hadn't seen them in a long time. So I talked to Conor (Counihan) about having a break in January and he had no problem. It was expensive but brilliant and well worth it for the craic."
Reflecting on his time away, Walsh added: "I was in a hostel one day and bumped into Bernard Brogan by chance. It turned out he was doing the same trip as us so we met him in a lot of places going down the coast. We'd been on the same All Stars trip together in Malaysia at the end of 2010. He's a fierce nice fella and it was great to get to know him.
"It's one thing I like to do, getting to know lads off the field that you'd be in opposition to on the field. The Cork boys would be slagging me about it.
"But I'd use those trips as a chance to talk to and get to know other players. For the International Rules trip, I got to know the Donegal lads Michael Murphy and Karl Lacey very well, and also Brendan Murphy from Carlow. It was great."