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

The Present Moment

Posted by Denise CHNG Lisan On Wednesday, October 17, 2007
I am writing from Melide now. Looking at the map, it´s one of the last few dots close to Santiago. In fact, I am only 50 km away, leaving me only 2 days to reach my destination.

I have not been able to write of all my experiences since 7th October, and I can only do so (and filling in the blanks) when I am back in Singapore. But I´ll write a brief summary here.

On the 9th, I celebrated my birthday in the mountains at Rabanal. It was such a fiesta with two musicians coming from two different parts of the world (Iran and Canada) performing a mini concert in celebration for me. What a gift. I took videos of the talented performance.

On the 10th, I climbed the highest point on the camino to Cruz de Ferro. Over there, it is a very special place where people leave their memories, pains and sufferings behind in the form of stones and personal belongings. Some people bring stones from their own countries to this point, so they can let it all go. I will share in greater detail what I brought to leave behind.

During the last week, in the midst of a hard climb, I met a group of Spanish camino walkers - whom I call the Phenomenal Chicos. We became inseparable for at least 5 days, laughing, walking and having so much fun. At the end when we all had to walk our own way and own pace, we cried because we had to part. It is pretty amazing how a few days of walking together could form such bonds. Phenomenal!

When I write next, it´ll probably be from Santiago.

The irony is that as I get closer to the end, I stopped counting days and kilometers. I finally know what it feels like to live in the present moment, not looking back because it has already passed, and not looking forward because tomorrow is not here yet.
I can no longer remember all the places I have been, but everyday brings its special gifts. A friend on the camino said, "the memories are great, but the future will be better."

2 Response to 'The Present Moment'

  1. Anonymous Said,'> 23 October 2007 at 09:14

    You are Phenomenal

    Thank you



  2. Denise Said,'> 30 October 2007 at 10:38

    Jose, YOU are phenomenal......Chico! =)


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