When Carlos Blanco quit Sydney to travel to his father's homeland of Spain he never dreamt he'd come back to Australia as an international rugby sevens player.
But on Saturday at Gold Coast's Robina Stadium, Blanco proudly took part in the first round of the 2012 IRB world series.
While Spain suffered three defeats in their pool matches against Samoa, England and Kenya, Blanco had to pinch himself when he came off the field as friends in fancy dress cheered from the stands.
"It's amazing," the 27-year-old told AAP.
"My family's here, a lot of my mates are here dressed up as matadors which is quite funny.
"It's been really cool."
A former NSW Waratahs academy player who attended rugby-mad St Joseph's College in Sydney, Blanco found himself rushed into Spain's national set-up shortly after arriving in September 2010.
"I didn't really have a clue how good the team was," he said.
"I didn't realise they were playing world series events ... six months after I landed in Spain I was off to Hong Kong with the sevens tour."
Since that first tournament in March last year Blanco has played around the globe but this weekend is his first tournament back in Australia and just one element was missing - getting drawn against the hosts in the pool stages.
"Definitely," he said when asked if he'd liked to have taken on Australia.
"I got to play against them in London this year and that was really cool, almost got them, just missed."
As to what the future holds? The thought of possibly ending his amazing journey at the 2016 Olympics in Rio is clearly one that is starting to rise in his mind.
"My girlfriend's dragging me back to Australia slowly so the dream might have to end," he said.
"It's been incredible. When I went to Spain I just expected to go there and play club rugby for a year and I've been able to travel all over the world.
"There's a part of me (that wants to try for the Olympics) but it's so far away I can't think about it.
"That's a sportsman's dream isn't it? To be involved in an Olympics? But yeah, it's a long way away."
Surely not as far away as it would've seemed when Blanco left Australia.