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Santiago is the protagonist of the The Alchemist. Born in a small town in Andalusia, Santiago attends the seminary as a boy but longs to travel the world. He finally gets the courage to ask his father's permission to become a shepherd so that he can travel the fields of Andalusia. One day, he meets a mysterious man in the town of Tarifa, who sends him on a journey to the other side of Africa.
Santiago is a curious boy whose open mind makes him particularly suited to finding his Personal Legend. He also values his freedom very highly, which is why he became a shepherd and why he is reticent to get involved in things which threaten his freedom. In the end, he realizes that playing it safe is often more threatening to his freedom than taking a risk.