“Life always waits for some crisis to occur before revealing itself at its most brilliant.” ~ Paulo Coelho
In her early forties, historian and world traveler Chandi Wyant’s world is at the edge of falling apart. Her spirit is broken, her body is weak and her glowing love of life seems to have disappeared.
After a near death experience in Italy and in the midst of finalizing her divorce, she had an epiphany. Why not return to Italy – a place that remains close to her heart – and do a pilgrimage. She knew that it was a crazy idea. Not only was she still weak from her illness, she was on a tight budget and only would have three weeks to plan a major physical adventure. Yet she was determined to follow her heart and set off on Italy’s historic pilgrimage route, the Via Francigena, to walk for forty days to Rome.
Many days were difficult due to the throbbing pain from Plantar Fasciitis, the exhaustion and sometimes the loneliness. But Chandi never stopped and persevered arriving at the end of the pilgrimage exhausted, in pain yet finally at peace with her past. The pilgrimage brought about a complete emotional and spiritual surrender that enabled Chandi to let go of the past and find a return to glow.
Her new memoir, Return to Glow: A Pilgrimage of Transformation in Italy beautifully chronicles this journey that is both profoundly spiritual and ruggedly adventurous. As Chandi traverses this ancient pilgrim’s route, she rediscovers awe in the splendor of the Italian countryside and finds sustenance and comfort from surprising sources. Drawing on her profession as a college history instructor, she gracefully weaves in relevant anecdotes, melding past and present in this odyssey toward her soul.
Her beautiful memoir, Return to Glow: A Pilgrimage of Transformation in Italy was released on April 2nd and won third place in the 2015 National Association of Memoir contest.
This delightful, transporting tale awakens the senses while inviting readers to discover their own inner glow by letting go of fixed expectations, choosing courage over comfort, and following their heart.
After reading Return to Glow, I had the opportunity to speak with Chandi over the phone to learn more about her life-changing trip and what inspired her to write the book. Here is what she had to say.