The country superstar spent several weeks this winter in L.A. editing his new concert film Kenny Chesney: Summer in 3D, which hits theaters April 21, and managed to squeeze in his first-ever Italian vacation.
"We went to Capri, Positano and a little town called Ravello," Chesney says. "I ate a lot of bread, drank a lot of wine and ate some really good cheese. And it was great. It's somewhere I've wanted to go my whole life, but I never afforded myself the time to do things like that. Now it's one of my favorite places in the world."
Though taking the time off "was the hardest decision I've ever made," Chesney says, "I'm so glad I made it. I haven't felt this content in a long time."
The drive that had made the singer the biggest North American ticket seller of the past decade had also taken a toll on his personal life. "Someone said 'You sure do give a lot of your life to this' and I said, 'No, this IS my life.' There's no room for anything else. And that's gotta change."
Step one has been spending more time with the people closest to him. "I've been getting reacquainted with people who you shouldn't have to get reacquainted with: my family," he says.
Chesney, 42, is also opening himself up to romance. "If I want a relationship, I have to give to it too."
Not that the singer is racing down the aisle. Although he has been dating Nashville nurse Amy Colley since 2008, "it's not like I'm taking a year off so I can get married again," he says. " 'Cause that could or couldn't happen.But I want to put myself in a position to do it if it did happen. I want to put myself in a position to have a relationship in my life."
He also has more travel on the horizon. "I want to go to places I've never been," he says. "China? The Pyramids?"
"Who knows? I want to go explore," Chesney says. "I want to taste everything. I want to take a big spoon, dip it in and taste it all."
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