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Return To Glow: A Pilgrimage of Transformation in Italy Paperback – January 22, 2017
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"If you read only one personal transformation memoir this year, make it Return to Glow. After reading it, I felt closer to my own glow, even without the physical pilgrimage." - Melissa Bartel of Bibliotica
"Return to Glow is a beautifully written account of one woman's desire to prioritize passion like her beloved Italians do." - Julian Wetz of Browsing the Atlas
"My favorite themes tugged at me throughout the work -- a woman and solo traveler reconnecting with herself, and reawakening with every step she took on the pilgrimage." - Donna West of Fun Tour Guru
About the Author
A world traveler, photographer, writer and historian, Chandi Wyant has lived in Qatar, India, Italy, Switzerland and England, and has been returning to Italy with unremitting passion since she first lived there at age twenty. She holds a Masters degree in Florentine Renaissance history and is the former head of Sogni Italiani, an events planning firm specializing in weddings, vow renewals, and honeymoons in Italy. The manuscript of her memoir, Return to Glow (2017), won third place in the 2015 National Association of Memoir contest. She recently made a permanent move to Italy and you can learn more about her life there on her website, Paradise of Exiles.
Top customer reviews
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And I stay up wayyyy too late to find out what's going to happen next. And next. And next. This was such a narrative. Making me suspend my other interests till I'd seen this one through to the end.
Return To Glow has every ingredient I like in a memoir. There's the adventure of it, there's pithily observed self discovery, and there's an ineffable spiritual component. Chandi Wyant undertakes her journey in a particularly weakened state, in recovery from a near-death bodily trauma -- while also reeling from the collapse of her marriage.
I think you'll appreciate her pluck as she's seized with the idea to hike the Via Francigena. Though without funds she cleverly figures out a means for financing her trek.
She seems so frail you almost cry out at the beginning, Stop! Don't go! But she does and you exult with her every step of the way. Her love of Italy spills over page after page. Centuries rush up to meet the present as she trods the ancient path to Rome. The author also excels at conveying the spaciousness -- and isolation -- of setting out on a difficult hike alone. As a female in Italy.
Though Wyant deftly portrays the people in her life and those she encounters in her travels, it was the step after step after step regeneration of body and soul that held me fast. In a busy, connected world, it's transporting to enter a zone of silence, the almost supernatural kind you experience when you become a tag-along spirit to one who ventures forth alone.
Chandi’s tale of doing just that resonates for most of us – male, female, any race, any class, any culture. It is a timeless story, as she decides to start her life over (or “reboot” her life) by walking a pilgrimage trail in Italy. She decides, against many odds, to walk the Via Francigena in Italy which leads to Rome. It is an ancient pilgrimage trail, but it is also an ancient and universal ritual – a symbolic passage that has had a renaissance in recent times. Just like her, many of us are hungry for a ritual that reconnects us with ourselves as our societies often separate ourselves from our true nature. She must overcome many obstacles – physical, emotional and practical – in order to start and to finish her commitment to walk the trail. Her experiences remind us of the goodness in humans and the universality of human nature.
Chandi takes us through her physical and emotional transformation in a way that we can all relate to. For lovers of Italy, you will be enthralled with her insightful, sometimes funny, descriptions of Italians and Italian life. Her background as a history professor is an added bonus as she intersperses fascinating pieces of historical information throughout the book.
This book is an adventure of the soul, heart, mind and body. I ended the book feeling privileged to have shared in her personal tale of transformation and inspired to keep getting closer to my own soul.
Her training in history and her inclusion of historical and literary facts in the account of her journey remind me of the writings of H.V. Morton. Chandi walked 425 Km (264 miles) from Fidenza south toward Rome on the ancient pilgrimage route to Rome over a period of 40 days.
Her book isn't just an account of a physical journey, but also of a journey of life with the ups and downs of relationships, illness, emotions, courage and perseverance.