Traveling to Egypt | The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

When I was in high school I discovered one of Paulo Coelho books that took me on a trip through his stories and I literally became obsesses with «Veronica Decides to Die». I lost count of how many times I read that book. Looking back at it, I wonder if I was too young to read his novels, as they always made me feel almost hypnotized by his words and the powerful messages he sends through his work. 

After many intense years of constantly re-reading the couple of Paulo Coelho books I owned, I finally decided to take a break from them, and haven’t read anything by him until now.


goodreads blurb:

Paulo Coelho’s enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world. This story, dazzling in its powerful simplicity and soul-stirring wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried near the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles in his path. But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasure found within. Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, the story of Santiago is an eternal testament to the transforming power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts.


As I mentioned in my previous “Travelling through books post”, this book worked perfectly with «With the Fire on High» by Elizabeth Acevedo where I visited Spain. In «The Alchemist» the events start in Andalusia, Spain as we follow a young shepherd through his “life-journey”. 

My ultimate destination here was supposed to be Egypt, but I only got a glimpse of it, even though I very much enjoyed the journey (physical and spiritual) Paulo Coelho took us on. 


“He told himself that he would have to start reading thicker books: they lasted longer, and made more comfortable pillows.”

I think that his books are not for everyone and need to be read with certain patience, but everyone should try at least one of his books to see whether they connect with his style and his “lessons”. 

«The Alchemist» is classified on Goodreads as Inspirational, Spiritual, Philosophy, and even Self Help, and all of these are true. This is a story about destiny, dreams, and essentially the “hint” on how to achieve them by working towards our deepest desires, and when we do so, the universe conspires in helping us to achieve them. 

Paulo Coelho books are always full of many life lessons, many quotes, many lessons and that is what I used to love so much about them, and also the simple way that he communicates with the readers. 


“The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them.”

I enjoyed this book way more than I expected. I loved Santiago’s encounter with the King of Salem and the lessons he learned in Tangier. I loved his involvement at the Crystal shop and where it got him. The second part wasn’t as strong, but the ending was surprising – something I’d never predict. 

Have you read any of Paulo Coelho books? I know his books are not for everyone, so I’d love to hear your thoughts!


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16 thoughts on “Traveling to Egypt | The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

    1. I think it’s great that his books are part of a school program! When I was in high school I was obsessed with his writing and his book, re-read them all the time. I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about The Alchemist, but I really loved it. And I finally feel old enough to read his books without getting influenced by “his lessons”, if that makes sense. Lol

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’ve never read anything by Coelho! And I’ve loved reading about your “travels”!! I homeschool my kids, and I once planned a whole year of Geography tying in the books we’d read as we visited each continent. It really made learning so much better. 😍

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  2. Unfortunately, this is the only Paulo Coelho book I read but it’s one I loved very much. Reading this a couple of years ago was very personal – in a way and I liked the kinda slow reading experience and patience one needs to read it, as you say, though it’s not a long book. This book means a lot to me and is -needless to say therefore- one of my absolute favs. Therefore, I am glad that you liked it. Great review!! 💛

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I tried to read The Achemist when I was 15 or 16 and couldn’t get into it, and that left a certain..taste for Coelho, I guess now that I’m a grown ass woman I should reconsider it. xD I think I’ll try The Alchemist again one of these days. 🙂

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    1. My first Paulo Coelho book was Veronica Decides to Die (which was so sad but also so impactful). I also started reading his books in highschool, so I don’t think I was quite ready for them. And then I read 11 minutes and OMG, I re-read it so many times, I lost count.
      If you’d like to try Paulo Coelho again, I’d recommend one of these instead 🙂

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  4. I read this, I believe, during my late teens or right after, but it never really resonated with me. But then I watched (well, binged) How I Met Your Mother, and it essentially echoes similar messages about the universe conspiring to help you achieve the dream you’ve set your heart on, and, now, looking back, I completely agree! It’s definitely the kind of book that as you reach your mid twenties, it starts to make sense.

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    1. His books are very inspiring, especially The Alchemist. And I love that show! 😀 I used to catch it on TV years back, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen the whole thing from the start. Lol

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  5. I haven’t read Veronica Decides to Die yet. BUT MAN The Alchemist was AWESOME! I read it exactly 5 years ago and although the story is a bit hazy in my mind now, how it made me FEEL is still fresh! And I am SOOO glad that you loved it as well, Alex! 😍😍 Also have you read The Zahir by Paulo Coelho?!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad to see so many people loving The Alchemist. When I was reading it, and then posting this review, I kinda was expecting more comments like Emer’s, but I’m glad that so many people found this book relatable ❤

      I haven't read The Zahir. Did you love it as well?

      So far, I read «11 Minutes», «Veronica Decides to Die» (both of which I LOVED). «The Fifth Mountain» and «Brida» were both "meh". And I tried reading «The Winner Stands Alone» but couldn't finish it.

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