Social media can tell a lot about someone and Aaron Cunningham's Twitter profile perfectly illustrates the conflict between two of his greatest loves with the picturesque Nacpan beach in the Philippines accompanied by a shot of him clad in yellow and blue representing the Clare hurlers.
Sun and sand cannot work in tandem with the commitment required for the county scene in the modern era, however, and Cunningham departed the Banner squad at the end of the 2017 season to explore Australia and everything that surrounded it with his girlfriend Kate.
He won't be the last Irishman to be left spellbound by Melbourne - where he set up base and worked as an electrical trade assistant on the Aussie railways - and a year travelling quickly doubled with no return date in sight.
The Australian winters were spent in America playing hurling with the Tipperary club in San Francisco and it looked like a promising inter-county career which saw him claim an All-Ireland SHC medal as a youngster in 2013 had passed.
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He "never missed a game" while he was away with GAAGO like an extended family member and he remembers watching the classic duels with Galway in the 2018 All-Ireland semi-final alongside former Clare panellists Gearóid 'Gudgy' O'Connell and Bobby Duggan with the feeling that he was "slightly missing out".
One YouTube video entitled 'The Young Goalscoring Magician' sums up Cunningham's wizardry in front of the posts and his last game for Clare saw him nearly resurrect the Banner with two goals in their 2017 All-Ireland quarter-final defeat to Tipperary.
It looked like his life had moved in a vastly different direction since then but when he returned home in December for the wedding of his sister Kelly, he got a call from Clare legend Brian Lohan about returning to the Banner fold.
It wasn't on his radar but "one thing led to another" and he secured a teaching post in Limerick's Scoil Na Tríonóide Naofa in Doon. Suddenly, sunnier climates seemed like a million miles away as he took the plunge to give his Clare career another shot under his Wolfe Tones na Sionna club-mate Lohan.
"It took me by surprise because in my head I was thinking, 'Sure who would actually ring me to come back knowing that I've been gone for so long and haven't been doing much?' I met Brian and he encouraged me to have a go at it and see how training went," he recalls.
"The fact that he even wants you to come back and give you a chance, how do you say no to that? You kind of have to (give it a go) really! You get huge energy and motivation from seeing that a group of people have that faith in you so I jumped at the chance.
"I was thinking, 'I probably won't be able for this, I probably won't be up for it' but what else would I be doing and it'd be good to give it another go because I could have stayed out there for another four or five years if things had been slightly different and that definitely would have been the end of it."
Dublin footballer Paul Mannion described how he threw up in a Croke Park sink during half-time of a 2016 League game against Kerry as his body creaked when adapting to a year away from the inter-county scene and Cunningham had similar struggles.
There may not have been any vomit but it was a harrowing experience to be "the last lad in everything at training" and he was in a different parish in terms of preparation compared to his team-mates after a two-year break.
"The first couple of weeks were absolute torture. I had been doing nothing really so I was miles behind the lads and it was kind of demoralising and then all the training these days is monitored," the 26-year-old says.
"Even though you know yourself that you were miles behind, you'd be reassured afterwards with the GPS that you were miles behind so it was a bit of a double whammy."
His residual fitness began to kick in after a couple of weeks as he ground through the slog but a brief cameo in a challenge game against Waterford in early February left him in no doubt that it would be an arduous task to make his mark this year.
"I'd only a couple of weeks training done, but I was feeling good and Brian threw me on for I'd say the last seven or eight minutes and I just felt so out of my depth. I couldn't get near the ball and when I was near it, I was getting pushed off it," he says.
"I just thought to myself, 'Oh no, I'm nowhere near it.' I felt completely out of my depth that night whatever it was. No matter what I did it just wasn't going to happen for me but thankfully I got another chance a couple of weeks after."
That opportunity came out of the blue as he started against Laois during their League clash in Ennis and it looked as easy as getting back on a bicycle when he arrowed over the first score inside a minute, although that would be his "only contribution that day".
There will be more peaks than troughs this year as he looks to make his comeback a success but with captain John Conlon recently ruled out with a cruciate knee ligament injury, more chances are sure to come for the deadly attacker.
Known as 'Hammy' or 'Hamster' because of hamstring trouble throughout his career, Cunningham has slipped back into the Clare panel "like I hadn't really left" and he hopes he can add something to turn their fortunes around after a dismal 2019.
"Last year was a bit of a flop but there is huge energy and enthusiasm and I think the change adds to that. But almost every county has energy and enthusiasm, it's just trying to get everything right at the right time is hard to do.
"We're under no illusions about what everyone else is doing but definitely, things are looking positive in Clare. Everyone's buzzing and hopefully something can get sorted sooner rather than later so that we know what we're at."
Whenever normality resumes, act two is ready to commence for Cunningham and while it may be some time before the curtain is lifted, he is sure to dazzle under the bright lights once again.