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

On the Road Again - Aug 2009

Posted by Denise CHNG Lisan On Tuesday, August 11, 2009
The first stop on our road trip is chez Jacques and Jocelyne. We love their hospitality, as they often welcome us with a warm hug and great food. We celebrated our vacation together with lively white wine and two sixteen-inch seafood pizza, followed by a little fire in the garden and star-gazing.

The next morning, we followed a winding road through the valley to arrive at St. Rene, a cultured fish farm. This isn't going to be wild salmon fishing expedition, but it's the closest I can get so far to a real fishing trip. I was delighted.

It's been so long since I fact, from my recollection of childhood memories, I only watched my dad and brother fish. So, actually, this is the first time I am holding a cold squirmy fish alive in my hands, let alone pulling worms apart with my bare fingers and piercing them through the hook. But I love the feeling of the fish biting my bait and tugging at the line. There is life at the end of the line....soon to be eaten.

It's the closest to animal cruelty I've come. Blood on my hands. But I'm glad to have fresh trouts for dinner tonight. And smoked trouts for picnic next weekend. I keep reminding myself not to feel guilty for the five fish lives I've taken. Maybe after dinner, I won't feel so bad.

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