Song of Solomon's protagonist literally embarks upon a journey of exploration, the initial goal being the discovery of gold. But this quest eventually morphs into an exploration of identity, family, and name. We watch our protagonist struggle to reach both goals, realizing that shortcuts and haste only set him back further from his goals. The desire for self-knowledge is imbued in each character to some extent.
As Milkman explores Danville and Shalimar, he explores himself.
Exploration in Song of Solomon involves darkness and the inability to see.