600km Walking Pilgrimage through Spain

Written by Denise Chng Lisan & published on September 2 2008

From the moment I discovered an ancient pilgrimage path in Spain in June last year, the attraction of walking hundreds of kilometres towards an assured destination grew on me daily. My eagerness to go on a month-long journey on foot across the steep slopes, lush valleys and forests of the Pyrenees, and through countless small towns and villages, was part of a subconscious quest to find depth and meaning in my life. At the age of 33, I was approaching – prematurely, perhaps – what seemed to be a mid-life crisis.

Straits Times Life! Article,Denise Chng Lisan,Camino de Santiago,Camino Frances

Letter from Quebec: Preserving Heritage

Written by Denise Chng Lisan & published on November 8 2008

'TRAVEL is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living,' wrote Miriam Beard. Life in Quebec is now my teacher, pointing out my knowledge gaps and honing my ideas of living - be it language, culture, life-skills, or the environment.

Denise Chng Lisan

Day 8: Angels

Posted by Denise CHNG Lisan On Sunday, September 16, 2007
A good thing about pilgrimage is that I start to see people I meet as angels sent by God. They are people who says special things I remember, who help me, who gives me something just when I need it, who gives me a nice smile.

On my way to Lourdes on TGV train, I met another angel. Her name is Martine who lives on Martinique. She is a beautiful 50 year old woman who looks 40. Towards the end of our journey, we chatted a bit and she told me about Lourdes as she was just there recently.

She said some things I will not forget. In French she said, "Dans un pélérinage, on se recontrés. On recontres Diéu aussi. Un pélérinage est très fort pour le soi." On a pilgrimage, we meet ourselves and we meet God too. A pilgrimage strengthens one's soul.

"Dans la vie, il faut pas passér à coté de soi. Il faut vivre complètement." She said, in life, we must not pass ourselves by. We must live completely. Head on with our true self.

I said that she has a very deep soul. She said that's because she lost her first born daughter when she was 25. That made her search for herself and for God. She wished me 'beautiful travel'. Before she left, she turned and waved at me from outside the train.

In a few words, she expressed the meaning of my search. "We must not pass ourselves by." Many people, Martine said, live on the fringe of who they are.

2 Response to 'Day 8: Angels'

  1. Teri Said,'> 21 November 2007 at 21:52

    Denise, Your blog is beautiful. I too have a blog about the Camino (also this year) at:

    Wouid you mind if I use the quote you noted about the camino and not passing ourselves by? I will include your blog URL if you allow me to do os.

    Thank you, Teri


  2. Anonymous Said,'> 2 April 2008 at 11:39


    I was searching to understand my 8 angels when I found your blog and read this entry about angels. Thank you for this quote, which is really what I was seeking: "She said, in life, we must not pass ourselves by. We must live completely. Head on with our true self." I have decided not to live on the fringe of myself anymore.




    Ave Maria - Lourdes, France

    Blog Archive