Landon Donovan says Everton 'stole my heart' but the striker will consider his future in the game when he goes travelling to 'distant places'.
The Los Angeles Galaxy and USA forward impressed during two loan spells at Goodison Park and he is understood to have an open invitation to return to the club.
But Donovan is keen to take some time out of the game to reassess his priorities, with the 30-year-old warning he may even consider retiring from the game.
"Right now, I need time to think and that is impossible to achieve while I am playing," he told ESPN.
"I need to determine if I want to play, and if the answer is yes, I need to work out where and for how long.
"I plan to spend a lot of time travelling to distant places, alone. I am not sure where.
"I want to take time to have some freedom and not worry about my next game or being fit. It may take me two weeks, two months or a year.
"I don't plan on worrying about the end result. I want to focus on being present and making the decision when I am ready.
"I am at a point where I realise that if I am to come back I need to do so with the right mindset."
Despite his travelling desire, Donovan admits that a return to Everton could yet happen.
"Everton was a fling that grew into a full-blown affair. I do think about them because they really stole my heart when I walked into Goodison Park," he said.
"Everyone was so unbelievably welcoming, from Mr Moyes to the tea lady. I have such affection for the club.
"But I've struggled with motivation at many points in my career. I've had times where it all came easily but there have been stretches where I have questioned it.
"I have some selfish things I need to do, and I have some things to work out. While most soccer fans think a player's life is easy as we just seem to play soccer all the time, they don't see how many milestones I have missed with my family.
"My family want me to either play and be happy or else to have their son and brother back."