The five major events that dominate the first section of this powerful book are, in order:
1) The dream that Santiago has repeatedly of a child telling him to seek treasure at the foot of the Egyptian pyramids. Significantly, Santiago has this dream when he sleeps underneath a particular sycamore tree.
2) Santiago goes to a gyspy woman to interpret the dream for him, and, much to his surprise, she tells him to go to Egypt and pursue his dream.
3) Santiago meets Melchizedek, who repeats the gypsy woman's advice and tells Santiago that it is his Personal Legend to go to Egypt. Melchizedek manages to persuade Santiago to sell his flock and to go to Tangier. Note how Melchizedek describes the Personal Legend to Santiago:
...whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it's because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. It's your mission on earth.
This offers a rather novel spirituality that dominates the novel, as all characters are shown to be somewhere on their journey to achieve their Personal Legend, whether they have stopped or are progressing forward.
4) When he reaches Tangier, one of the first things that happens is that he is robbed, and so he is forced to work to survive with a local crystal merchant.
5) At the crystal merchant, he prospers, learns some important lessons from him, and becomes wealthy.