The Alchemist is a little fable of a book, originally published in Brazil. Santiago is a young man in Spain who became a shepherd because he wanted to travel. He meets a gypsy who tells him she wants a tenth of treasure he finds at the pyramids. He's not looking for treasure and had no plans to go to Egypt.
He meets an old man who tells him to follow his personal legacy and he will find his treasure. So, Santiago, referred to as "the boy" leaves Spain to find his personal legacy.