There was a time when Tracy Byrd would be on road playing more than 200 shows a year. And while he loved every second of it — well, mostly — he made a crucial decision that pulled him away from the bus.

It was time to go home for a while.

Granted, the Texas native, who first reached No. 1 in 1993 with "Holdin’ Heaven," has continued to play shows in his home state throughout the years, but he did take somewhat of a sabbatical from the daily grind of a grueling country music career. He has yet to regret it.

"I took a few years off, and I can't say I didn't enjoy it," Byrd shared with Taste of Country before a recent show in Chicago. "Up until that point, I had not been home like that for an extended period of time for my entire adult life."

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But that doesn't mean his career priorities have changed. The 52-year-old singer — who has released 34 singles throughout his career — decided he missed the road and the tour bus, but most of all, he really missed his fans.

"I really started to miss all of it," confesses Byrd, who is currently on tour to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the release of "Holdin’ Heaven."

"My youngest child is now 16 years old and always doing their own thing, and to be honest, me and my wife can only stand each other for so long," he says with a laugh.

And while Byrd admits that he still isn't crazy about the traveling aspect of touring ("that’s the part that sucks"), he says he has plans to continue playing in the 75-80 show range as long as he can possibly do it.

"It's something I enjoy when I can find the right balance," he says. "As long as I can stay healthy, I’m all in."

Thankfully, his return to the road is also getting the creative juices flowing again. "I plan to be back in the studio in 2020," Byrd promises. "It's time."

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