The journey through an exotic land plays an important part in Santiago's growth and his discoveries. Aside from literally leaving home to search for treasure, what are some other ways that people can develop themselves and build confidence?
Santiago, the protagonist of Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist, betters himself by overcoming the self-limiting beliefs of his upbringing and changing his perception of reality. His search for treasure is also a search for what the novel calls his "Personal Legend," that is, his destiny or true purpose in life.
Although his father insists that abandoning conventional life to pursue one's dreams is foolish, Santiago rejects this narrow-minded view. Although he initially fears the unknown and feels victimized by unforeseen events, he eventually begins to view each setback or tragedy as a new adventure and each seemingly random occurrence as an omen that will guide him on his journey.