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

Yellow Arrow No.3: Faith

Posted by Denise CHNG Lisan On Friday, February 20, 2009
It's almost 10 months since I came to Quebec. And almost 18 months since walking the Camino now. During this time, I am learning to live every moment as fully as I can. It's been an amazing journey.

As I look back, one thing that marks the change in me is the amount of faith I have in life now. At one stage and several points, I felt that it was a plunge into the unknown. It was unfamiliar and scary. That plunge was really a leap of faith.

Faith is a mysterious thing. Either we have it, or we don't. We can at times be filled with convictions, and at times be on the verge of betraying our ideals and best intentions. Our faith will always be tested, and the outcome will determine whether we continue on the road, or abandon.

Faith, I believe, is a trust in life - in a certain inexplicable mystery that takes care of us. This is a trust, believing without seeing, that everything will be ok at the end of the day. Faith is like the air we breathe and the energy that passes through our body - invisible but life-sustaining.

Faith takes practice. Life presents opportunities for us to choose to have faith, over worry. When I was mired in my own habits of anxiety and worry, a good friend wrote, "Know without a doubt that there is absolutely nothing to be afraid of." It was very hard to understand at first, but now that I am experiencing the many little miracles of life and simple wonder, I am growing to trust the universe.

It's a wonderful feeling to carry this faith within, because we can then expand and reach out, instead of contracting in fear.

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