The Welsh international won selection for the first Test against the Springboks in Durban but was forced off the field after just 38 minutes having suffered a reoccurrence of an old foot injury.
The 29-year-old was on course to make a full recovery in time for the second international in Pretoria before a dislocated thumb brought his tour to a premature end.
Byrne returned home early as a result but has now set his sights on earning selection for a second successive tour in four years time.
"I flew home on the day of the second Test, and it was pretty gutting, but I can't be too upset about it," said Byrne, who faced the Royal XV, Cheetahs , Sharks and Boks on the 10-match tour of the Republic.
"There are plenty of good players who would have loved to have been on the tour but were injured before we went, before the squad was named even. At least I got out there and played in a Test match.
"I got to enjoy the experience and I definitely want to do it again. It may be four years away but hopefully I can manage it."
Despite losing the series 2-1 to the world champions and missing out on a further two Lions caps, Byrne insists that the 2009 tour was a truly memorable one for plenty of positive reasons.
The former Bridgend and now Ospreys star cites new friendships and personal performances as two of the most successful aspects of his own trip as he now begins preparing for the new season with both club and country.
"I really enjoyed the whole experience, it was absolutely brilliant," added Byrne.
"There was a good bunch of boys on tour and it was great to get to know players that you play against regularly in international rugby. I roomed with players I didn't know, like Brian O'Driscoll, Ronan O'Gara, Gordon D'Arcy, Jamie Heaslip and Simon Shaw, and I think that is one of the best things about being a Lion, getting to know these players and seeing how they work.
"I think that it went really well for me generally. The goal for everybody on the trip was to be selected for the Test team and I achieved that, so even though I've had to come home early I can look back and be pleased with how it went for me personally.
"The final week of my tour I felt pretty devastated out there. Obviously I was disappointed to come off in the first Test but I was back in training, my foot was okay and I was looking forward to the second Test when I dislocated my thumb just doing routine training which meant I wouldn't be fit.
"I'm one of those players who doesn't really enjoy watching rugby if I can't play so it would have been a nightmare to have just been sitting around, getting in the way, so it's probably for the best that I flew home.
"Now I'm back, I've got six weeks off to rest and make sure I take my mind off rugby completely. I've had a full year of rugby and there's been plenty of hard work along the way, but now I'm going on holiday to switch off and refocus. When I come back next month I'll be raring to go again, fully fit and ready for the hard work ahead of the new season with the Ospreys."