I met a specific group of travelers who had come down to visit from Nicaragua. They all seemed like the best of friends, around my age, and extremely happy and fulfilled people. When we started talking over their pitcher of sangria, I found out that they had all just met in Nicaragua. One girl was with her husband, another guy on a 2 week(flexible) trip by himself, and another woman on a 6 month self-search stay in Nicaragua having divorced and lost most of what she had in the transaction.
These people emoted energy and positivity and soul-searching.
What was most fascinating for me was that in their stories, the thing I found in common was a sense of a search. Everyone is searching for something: You, me, this great new group of friends... That is not a surprise, as I think it's a life-goal in some way to determine what our purpose is...and that, in itself, is a search. What was fascinating as an outsider, though, was the fact that their individual searches led them to one another. They were able to connect and expressed bonds with one another that they lacked in relationships that they've had in the past. They connected instantly on a deep level and became instant friends, "one day we met, and the next we're literally crossing borders together" they recounted!
They were a breath of fresh air, and though I can't be sure...I think I might have found part of the key, which I've been trying to express all along...When we search for ourselves, we find others...that is to say, we are all connected. We are the people that we come in contact with, and they are us, and we are all part of a big system.
So, while you're out there soul-searching, you can remember, not all hermits find what they're looking for...I think most people find it when they least expect, by setting out "alone" and seeing where it takes them and with whom!
Enjoy the search AND the findings.
*Thanks to my new friends for the insight!*