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What starts out for T.R. Lawrence as a surfing vacation to Morocco turns into a series of life-changing adventures for him and soon after for his wife, Linda, too—stemming from such seemingly random events as a knock on the door, the casual flipping through a magazine, a duffle bag knocked off a shoulder, a walk through a Marrakech alley when suddenly being pulled into a shop, and a motorcycle ride behind a truck loaded with olives. A fascinating and entertaining work of storytelling, T.R.’s book details his courage to pursue new opportunities. When he sees ten exquisite hand-woven saddle rugs during his first trip, he can’t resist the temptation to buy them. And when he finds a buyer back in the States, T.R. experiences the joy of selling them for several times more than he paid for them, realizing a profitable business possibility.

His narrative writing covers his 25 years of operating a successful import-export business, with the partnership of Linda and the assistance of local merchants, as he gathers the best antiques and things rarer and finer than what unknowledgeable tourists are able to discover. They embrace the culture and customs of Moroccans, adopting their clothing styles as their own. Much of their time is spent in the street markets and alleyways of the medina, the old section of the city where Moroccans live and work, as well as the intriguing Djemaa el Fna, the Square of the Dead. Acrobats, snake charmers, storytellers, and food vendors enliven the square each evening across from the hotel where they live in their early years whenever they return to Morocco. T.R. vividly describes the sights and sounds of the city and frequently feels that Marrakech is speaking to him, making him believe he belongs there.

They become travelers not only within the country itself but also within the realm of art and cultural activities as they search for exquisite rug weavings by hand, clothing, jewelry, and other antiques in the Berber markets and bazaars—and manufacture their own products for export to the United States. Merchant friends ask him to buy Native American jewelry from Santa Fe markets for a jewelry exchange. He is delighted when he sees their eyes light up while holding these treasures in their hands for the first time.

T.R. not only prospers from a successful business that he loves, in a country he loves, but also creates prosperity for several of the local merchants. With their success at trade shows in the United States, he and Linda move to Santa Fe, New Mexico, and open a store, where, on their first day, they sell an extraordinary set of antique pottery pieces. Later on in their business, when the antique weavings become harder to find, T.R. again opens himself up to new possibilities and has an intuitive sense that he should investigate exporting olive oil. Yet again, that idea turns into a successful business.

Courageous adventurer that he is, always thoughtful and respectful, he makes friends wherever he goes and establishes relationships lasting decades. Respected by the merchants they do business with, and accepted as if they were Moroccans, he and Linda are frequently invited to their homes for meals and even to celebrate births, weddings, and religious festivals. From his initial days in Morocco, T.R. helps a washerwoman with her chores on the rooftop terrace of his hotel. She asks him to send her a postcard from America because she has never received a letter in the mail, and when he does so, she is thrilled. Often he asks his friends, “What can I bring you back from America.” He also buys used clothing in Santa Fe to give to people in need in Marrakech. One day he intervenes when a muscular tattooed man is beating another man with a belt, and another time helps a boy avoid a severe punishment for stealing a pencil.

T.R.’s narrative offers fascinating details and cultural experiences of a country vastly different from what we know in the West—exotic, ancient, colorful, and rich in sights and sounds.

T.R. Lawrence grew up worshiping National Geographic magazine and studying encyclopedias and world atlases. His love for the thrill of the hunt for antique treasures has given him a life rich with adventures. For 17 years T.R. and his wife, Linda owned Nomads of Santa Fe on Shelby street in downtown Santa Fe, New Mexico, specializing in Moroccan imports.