Life has never been better for Keith Urban ... but it's certainly different. In the past year, the Grammy-winning country star has settled down in more ways than one. Just four months after marrying actress Nicole Kidman, Urban checked himself into rehab to kick a long battle with alcoholism. Now, newly married and newly sober, he has a new outlook on life.

"In the past, I didn't really have a life outside music. Getting on the bus and touring was my life," he tells AOL Music about his pre-rehab troubles. "And when that was not around, I felt myself a bit lost at times, because that was all I had. And my life is now much more balanced."

That balance relies on breaks in Urban's current 'Love, Pain & the whole crazy world Tour,' so that for the first time in his career, his work life takes a back seat to his personal life. About every other week, he takes a cross-global flight to visit Kidman, who is filming a movie in Australia.

"When we're together, it's a vacation. Truly, we can be doing anything, and it feels like a vacation to me," says the hopeless romantic, who surprised Kidman with a fireworks show on her 40th birthday last month during one of his trips Down Under.

Theirs is truly a relationship that has thrived in the face of adversity. While Urban admits rehab saved their marriage, it fueled tabloid rumors of troubles that continue to linger, as does the paparazzi. Urban gave us his thoughts on the ever-present shutterbugs in our exclusive interview.