Program 646: Daughter of Peru; Married to Bhutan; Barcelona Guide

Release Date: 07-31-2021


Journalist and author Marie Arana describes her cross-cultural experience of growing up in both Peru and the US, and another author, Linda Leaming — one of very few Americans to ever live in the Himalayan nation of Bhutan — shares her experiences of teaching in and marrying into Bhutanese culture. Plus Spanish tour guide Jorge Román joins Rick to discuss what made Barcelona a booming tourism destination before the pandemic, and offers suggestions for visiting the city's less touristy attractions.


  • Marie Arana, author of "Silver Sword and Stone" (Simon and Schuster)
  • Linda Leaming, author of "Married to Bhutan" and "A Field Guide to Happiness" (Hay House)
  • Spanish tour guide Jorge Román

Additional Info

  • Among her titles, Marie Arana has published a biography of Simon Bolivar, an autobiography of growing up Peruvian-American, "American Chica," and novels set in contemporary Lima, Peru.  Information on those titles is available on her website.  More recently, she wrote "Silver Sword and Stone" to examine the fundamental influences on Latin America, from its pre-conquest empires to today.   
  • Marie is director of the National Book Festival, scheduled for September 17-26, 2021 in Washington DC and online.
  • Marie Arana discusses her book "Silver Sword and Stone" with Rick on Travel with Rick Steves program #619, from November, 2020.
  • Linda Leaming has been living in Bhutan for more than two decades.  She is married to Bhutanese thanka painter, Phurba Namgay, and is the author of "Married to Bhutan: How One Woman Got Lost, Said I Do, and Found Bliss," and "A Field Guide to Happiness."   
  • Linda talks to Rick about traveling in Bhutan on Travel with Rick Steves program #602, from May, 2020.
  • The Rick Steves online guide to Barcelona.
  • Jorge Román offers tours in Madrid, southern Spain (Andalucía), and Catalonia. He can be contacted through his "Traveling with Jorge" Facebook site.
  • Rick discusses the Sagrada Familia basilica in more detail with Gaudi specialist Gijs van Hensbergen on Travel with Rick Steves program #547 from December, 2018.

Haiku Awards

Sweat, sting of birch leaves,
Shriek of joy as skin meets lake
Beneath the midnight sun.
— Beverly Sizemore, Albuquerque, New Mexico


Fly me to the moon
With Ireland stops before me
will be there soon
— J. D. Marckmann, Clever, Missouri


Traffic jam ahead
Cars stopped all over the road
Oh it's just a deer

Did I see a moose?
Stopped the car and turned around
Oh it's just a log

No haiku today
No more counting syllables
We just need a break
— Anne Gasperich, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Program Extras

More with Linda Leaming - Linda Leaming tells Rick more about her relationship with her Bhutanese husband Namgay, and how the ideal gift she could get him, as a traditional painter, was hair from a cow's ear. (runs 3:56)