As soon as you get in your car and drive through the winding roads, each twist and turn makes you forget. You forget about a fight with someone back home, you forget about the stress of your job, and instead you stare out the windows at a place full of pine trees, ocean air and absolute bliss.

You start to disconnect from the world as you travel deeper and deeper into this seaside wonderland.

You start rediscovering the beauty of nature with the giant pine trees reaching high into the sky and a harbor full of lobster boats, sailboats and fishing boats, mostly named after the owners’ wives or someone who meant something special to them.

You begin to wonder what their stories are and the reasoning for their names plastered on the stern. You stop worrying about the things that once mattered, and you begin to realize what life is all about.

The sound of the ocean waves crashing against the rocks travels through your bedroom window at night and sings you a lullaby as you fall asleep wrapped in cozy quilts patterned with all different shapes and colors. Gusts of wind bring you snatches of families’ laughter from porches of houses scattered all around the water.

There is no cellphone service in this place, and you rely on a bag of Hannaford oversized marshmallows and a crackling bonfire to get to know each other. Instead of eating at fast-food places, you frequent mom-and-pop restaurants scattered throughout the town making money from all the tourists stopping on their way through.

When you reach a green swinging bridge just past the Trevett Store, you wait patiently as a middle-aged woman manually opens the bridge. Your car window is rolled down, and country music is playing in the background, as you watch this lady apply a giant wrench and a great deal of energy so a single sailboat can pass through. It may take 20 minutes, but you don’t complain because this is the simple life.

It’s a place where you can visit and know that your great-grandparents, who died 50 years ago, looked in the same shops you browse through now.

When it comes time for dinner, you look out the window and notice the local lobsterman dropping off lobsters that cost less than $5 a pound into a lobster crate. “Fresh” has a different meaning here. “Fresh” means walking down to the dock and carrying home, to a boiling pot, lobsters that a couple of minutes earlier were crawling on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean.

When it’s time for supper, prayers and thanks are always given and lobster bibs are always tied to your shirts, no matter your age, because salt water will come pouring out of the shells as you pluck out the fresh meat.

This is a place that is essential for your soul, and when you leave here you will always be craving soul food.

Courtney Dowling, a journalism student at the University of Central Florida, has been a summer resident of Southport for 22 years.