"I do know it's going to be the hardest tour I've ever been on," he told the Sunday Tribune.
"Even if you guess how hard it's going to be you'll come up short on so many different levels. But that's good, it's good to be surprised by things.
"I expect to be blown away by it and I'd be disappointed if I wasn't."
Hickie is hoping the Irish contingent can make their mark on the tour and help the squad achieve their potential.
"Irish guys have always done well on Lions tours because of this attitude, but it's a synergy of the four nations that makes the team what it is," he added.
"No matter what the Test team actually is, the success of the tour depends on getting the right mix in the squad."