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 'Write' Dream

Posted by Denise CHNG Lisan On Friday, August 08, 2008
It seems to be the right time to write. 8th August, 2008. The stars must be aligned with the auspicious date of 080808.

I’ve just returned from a short trip to Toronto. It took me 14 hours just one way, from where I live now. Up until then, my mind had not grasped the vastness of Canada. I kept thinking that everything is a few hours drive away. Coming from little island of Singapore, it’s understandably why. But now, my body is aching from the 28 hours (in total) of bus ride.

It was a good trip, as I managed to spend time with my special friend, Sophie, who lives in Toronto. I also managed to catch up briefly with my colleagues from Brand Finance, who had flown in from London and New Zealand.

There’s something about long bus rides and long chats with good old friends. They clear the mind and pave way for deeper thoughts. The trip somehow clarified a lot of thoughts I’ve been having.

I’ve been thinking about writing. Writing for real. Writing as a vocation, as an occupation, as an essential channel for my creative output.

It is funny how we often deny what comes natural to us, for reasons of fear and insecurity. It is funny how we often escape from the slight knocks of the heart, searching around the answer, instead of getting to it.

Eleanor Roosevelt wrote, “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.”

I finally had the courage to write an article about my pilgrimage journey in Spain. Before I left for Toronto, I sent the article to the Straits Times. According to Paulo Coelho’s ‘The Alchemist’, he wrote that when we follow our hearts, we would often find beginner’s luck. It is almost like the universe is conspiring to help us achieve our dreams.

When I didn’t hear for a week, I told myself that I needed to persevere and to improve on my writing regardless. Good things don’t come easily. I would rewrite my article, or perhaps write to another publication.

So, when I arrived all exhausted from my long bus ride from Toronto, one could imagine my irrepressible joy when I received an email from the Straits Times saying that they would like to run the article.

080808….my stars are aligned afterall…and the universe is conspiring to help me.
Thank you!

2 Response to 'The 'Write' Dream'

  1. Anonymous Said,'> 29 August 2008 at 09:04

    So has it been published yet??
    080808 is also the date of our Msia and Sg league table reports, my first business trip with the office, and the day one of my best friends was proposed to. Nice.


  2. raver Said,'> 2 September 2008 at 06:42

    Read about ur article in Life today..

    There come a point in life, one ponder his/her purpose in at a crossroad, deciding on the path to take..

    Maybe this is a mid-life crisis symptom...just plain sick of the the routine and boring life ... in search to enjoy life to the fullest.. enjoying every single moment of the process of a destination, rather than rushing through it...

    I hope you have found yours..

    take care and cheers.


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