This soul-stirring is universal. It's different for everyone, but we've all shivered over some marvel of the world before. We've all felt small. It's humbling, and necessary, and when you're writing a story moored in a world that isn't mainstream, it can be a way to bring your audience into the shoes of your characters.
I've said before that I'm writing in the wrong genre, and this is true. But...well, I spent years researching motorcycle clubs, and the attraction for me as a writer wasn't the tattoos, or the violence, or the debauchery. The dark side isn't the draw. It's the road. They spend so much time on the road, they see so much of the country - the real, broken-down, proud Americana. Can't you see them, parked on the shoulder, with a view of the sun rippling up the hills toward them? Can't you hear that moment of silent wonder? To willingly align yourself with a brotherhood that accentuates your smallness in the world - well, I'm romanticizing it. But it's the spirit of it all that I find so appealing. There's a timeless quality to this world. There's order and hierarchy and codes that feel medieval. It's a total lack of self-absorption that hearkens to times long past. It's tradition, and legacy, and the simple existence of footsteps to fill.