I found this excerpt (below) in an e-mail I sent to a cousin several years ago. I was sharing some insight into the incredible transformation I experienced when I was living in Thailand (2000-2003).
I'll be honest......I had a good education and all, but there were many things I didn't even ponder till I started traveling. And even that didn't come without much inner struggle, anxiety and a healthy dose of time. When you start questioning some major pillars, you really are stripping away your identity. I found comfort in realizing the world is more "uncertain" than "certain" and I can't imagine going back.
The process had actually started many years earlier, but a definitive step needed to be taken. I had to break with my fundamentalist past and I had to face life in very new way. The dogma I had to discard was not only religious fundamentalism, it was also a blind allegiance to country. And then there were big aspects of myself I had to confront and wrestle with. The same with family. This move from certainty to uncertainty was my Dark Night of the Soul. Incidentally, I got this expression from a religious/inspirational book I was reading back in the early 2000s, in my studio apartment in Bangkok. Wish I could remember the name of the book.