Santiago's parents want him to become a priest, so he attends the seminary until he is sixteen years old. While in the seminary, Santiago learns to read. While it is a great honor and accomplishment for a boy from a poor family to become a priest, Santiago soon realizes he is unhappy at the seminary. He courageously tells his father that he wishes for a life of adventure and travel. After his father tries to convince him that every place is the same and is no better than where he lives, he tells Santiago that the only occupation that will allow a poor person to travel is that of a shepherd. His father relents and gives Santiago three gold coins to allow him to buy a flock of sheep to fulfill his dreams of adventure and travel.