I want to be where sand and sea play while the sun radiates overhead. There’s a place I know, where the sun shines brightest and the Pacific, deceivingly inviting makes it all the more alluring. A place where the sand stretches for as long as the sun shines. A place where you can gorge on the spoils of Mother Nature’s buffet if you’re willing to do the prep work.

To get to this place, persistence (and a cooler full of goodies) pays in spectacular sunsets, a sense of awe and a renewed belief in the world beyond our tiny screens.

We begin by piling into the car on a typical warm afternoon, on a mission for provisions. Parked beneath the monkeypods in Koloa, we scoop up enough ahi poke to match our company’s tastes. Better make it a few pounds. Those bentos are calling our names too, and don’t forget the Hawaiian Sun juices, beer, water if we must. Today is not the day to count calories, friends.

We continue on Kaumuali’i Highway, but locals don’t call it that. No need. We’re headed West to the literal end of the road where we hang left onto unpaved, dust and gravel and play vehicular hop scotch to dodge the potholes. This game lasts for two miles through remnants of Hawaii’s now defunct sugar economy, a faint reminder of how generations before me took root in the islands and an important part of my story as well.

Are we there yet?

Not until after you’ve exhausted your repertoire of insert-songs-from-your-high-school-years’ greatest hits because by this point, the only tunes the radio is playing is sweet, useless static. Not until the bushes playfully whip your car as the road narrows and curves right to reveal; another length of anticipation.

Let’s make that equal parts anticipation and hope. Hope that your tires have enough traction to propel you through the same sand you’ll dig your toes into, or let pour through your fingers while your mind slides through time like those grains of sand.

The powder stretches long, ending at a point beyond your eyesight and continues. The shimmering blue commands respect. This is Polihale’s allure, though the real seduction begins when the sand cools and the sky glows with warm swirls of orange, reds and pinks.

On most days, it’s a place where the universe strips away distraction, obligation. Exposed are sensations no photograph, vividly crafted prose or sweeping aerial video can fully capture; a balmy breeze dances with salt-garnished air to grant your hair a coveted, tousled effect. An ombre sky unraveling the most tightly wound thoughts cannot be contained.

Not even the most enterprising individual can bottle this up. Polihale leaves you so full, you may not even want dessert, but you brought a cooler, so crack it open, will you?