Paulo Coelho’s sword has found a new owner!

| February 9, 2010 | 18 Comments

… and yes, it’s me! After an intense journey and bit of struggle, both physically and emotionally, I’m taking the sword home with me to Puerto Rico, a US Commonwealth in the Caribbean.

Paulo Coelho Challenge ended

When Paulo Coelho posted the enigma on his website early January, asking for 12 tests to be solved, which lead to locations in France and Spain along the Way of St. James, he thought it would take a long time to solve all challenges and travel there.

I read about it on January 15th immediately had the feeling that this sword is for me. The thought that shot into my head was that the sword wants to come back to me and maybe Paulo put it there to see whether I would follow it’s call and if the universe had really written our connection somewhere. It was me, who gifted the sword to Paul on his 60th birthday in 2007  as a sign of my deep appreciation for his writings. Especially “The Alchemist” helped me out of a personal low phase of my life.

I am an entrepreneur and have always been a writer about non-fiction topics, technology, economy and related. And when asked what I would like to be, when I grow up (if!?), I’d always say ‘a writer’.

I immediately started discussing with my wife and a friend, started solving the riddles and once I was sure, my initial idea was to wait until the weather gets warmer in Europe and then do a real pilgrimage. On second thought, I realized, that this was about another challenge, not a pilgrimage and focussed on solving it the quickest way possible. I made arrangements, reserved my flights and then learned that one Guardian was only available from February 6 or 7 on, so I had to change my reservations and adapt my plans – not for the last time, as you will read! In my heart and in my head, I was on this journey from the day I read about it and enthusiasticly worked on all aspects of it.

I arrived from San Juan in Barcelona only Sunday a week ago, rented a car and went on my way to locations I figured out over the internet. About that, I will write shortly, first an overview and then location by location about how I felt and about all the things that happened.

In short: there were so many little things that happened, that I could not possibly have planned what was necessary to get all proofs and arrive first; for me a clear sign that truly the universe conspired to lead me back to my sword and to focussing more on writing than my business projects.

I am filled with ideas, inspiration and enthusiasm, to finally compose the many different manuscripts I have written and gathered in my drawers over the years into “Santiago’s Dream” – the magical novel, that starts where “The Alchemist” ended and is closely connected to the Paulo Coelho Challenge.

I would really love, if the other Knights of the Light who I got to know on this quest, would contribute with their insights and emotions to this blog and to the books. You know how to reach me, I don’t want to impose, but I think this is a great platform to display what you have experience and learned going on the quest.

My heart ached when Paul from Austria, whom I got to know in various occasions during the challenge, arrived only 20 or 30 minutes after me at the 12th location and had to see me walking out with the sword. Paul, please accept my respect for you setting out on this trip, respect that I have for all who came.

But at the end, I believe what happened, was written: Maktub!

The sword is a replica of Excalibur, the sword of King Arthur. It was manufactured in India, I received it in PR and prepared it for 5 weeks with the help of the elements before I sent it to France as a gift for Paulo.

My name is H.A. Freeman, I am an entrepreneur and aspiring writer, of German descent and I live with my wife, son and dog in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in the Caribbean. One of the for me most important books I ever read, was The Alchemist, the best-selling novel of Paulo. It was the novel’s main character, Santiago, eagerly following his dreams, accepting that the whole universe conspires and helps, if one does so, who motivated me to pursue mz own dreams without ever stopping and limitless perseverance.

The motto of my life is: “Everything is possible, just do it.”

Thanks for all the good wishes and congratulations I already received. I hope you all and many more do continue to follow my journey that really just begun.

All the very best,

H.A. Freeman

Tags: ,

Category: Quest of the Sword

  • Keith
  • sido66

    When the acts are with the heart , the first intent is always rewarded , sooner or later . Thus , the man who puts in action its intentions sees its intentions become action in the soul –universal
    Thus , that which gives always receives . on the path of pilgrim , the height of intentions then becomes the reflection of a path of life, where everything starts .. Then,” bon voyage” on this new path of LIFE , where it is good to give birth

    Love for you and your family

  • Adam Hicks

    Congratulations to your vision, your trust, and your success. When I heard of the challenge I expected it to be something that someone did eventually. Thank you for showing us that we are enpowered to take immediate action to change the world by changing our own. Just by making the space and persuing a path that resonates. May we all apply this to everything we do and not let the inspirations slip away.


  • David Bonham-Carter

    Dear Santiago’s Dream

    As you know I cannot agree that ‘Everything is possible’ but I CAN agree that you have done it!




  • Teri

    Congratulations!!! 🙂

  • Monica

    Dear H.A. Freeman,

    Congratulations on your quest!!!! May the light of the Lord always find the way to your heart and may you shine with it for all the world to see!!!!



  • Jessica

    Congratualtions 🙂

    Must have been a fun adventure indeed 🙂

    Love Jessica

  • Mirela Baron

    OH MY GODNESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    MILIONES OF CONGRATULATIONES!WELL…MY HEART iS LAUGHING WITH ONE EYE and IS CRYING with the OTHER ONE …FOR PAUL,OF COURSE! I can`T BELIVE IT!I was PLANING too to go,but all the signs were telling me to stay!AND NOW …I KNOW THE REASON WHY!?THE MOST IMPORTANT ONE was that my bouth children became temperture the whole week betwin 1-7 february,the period were I planed to travel too,the second one I have completed a formular with wrong numbers!




  • Shivang

    Congratulations!!! I saw the post by Paulo yesterday and then wondered who it was from the various challengers around..
    That’s even a more surprising thing to learn, that the sword had been gifted by you!
    It’s awesome, please let us know the details about the various parts in your journey!

    My best wishes to Paul and others who could not make it. 🙂 It seems the sword wanted to return to it’s owner.


  • Maria


    I sat besides you in the airplane in our way to San Juan….

    It was a real pleasure meeting you and hearing about your quest and adventure….sure you are very proud! I read your post and was really impressed with it….yes, I agree with you…everything is possible!
    I have been in many flights and many places but I had never met someone as charming and inspiring as you were to me….I am really glad I met you and wishes you all the best in your life.

    Hopefully you can keep in touch….as you follow your dream to publish your book. I will be waiting for you to let me know when it is done….you know where to find me!

    My Best wishes to you……..


  • Acacio

    Querido Santiagos Dreams,
    Gracias por dar estos pasos.
    Estamos unidos y espero que todos puedan contribuir en su libro
    Acacio & Orietta

  • Pame

    Congratulations, I just find out that you are the winner of the challenge.. You must be sooo happy !! there is not better feeling than following your dreams, Im sure that when you read the firt time the post of the challenge, you realize it was for you… Thats life! Things just come to you when they have to.. Hope to read you experience soon! you should write about it.. Do you have facebook ?

    Ecuador – South America

  • Karin from Zambia

    Well done Knight of Light. I offer you my deepest repect for rising to the challenge and following your dream. I so look forward to reading a more detailed account of your journey.
    Love and graTitude

  • Judith

    FELICITACIONES!! una vez màs!! y si, cuando uno desea algo el mundo se conspira para ayudarte… ademàs fue la recompensa por tu esfuerzo y perseverancia,y còmo vos, creo que tu camino recièn empieza.

    Mucha Suerte!!!! y espero leer una novela tuya muy pronto

  • Marlon V Garcia

    Congrats it is clear when the preparation meets opportunity you always are going to get successful results, the journey is just beginning, I wish you the best, you must keep, and continue on your way to success, after the first step, You should keep walking, go on, move on, and work on is your duty, build your legacy, work on the second step and the success will be always on your way, the limit is a pinnacle, the results will be in proportion of your efforts, Don’t let anyone stop until you get your dream came true.

    Marlon V Garcia

  • Tammy

    FELICIDADEZ!!! saludos desde tu isla Puerto Rico

  • Michael

    Congratulations Henry! Ich bin so glücklich für dich! 🙂

    What you really did, you created. Everyone of us is a creator. Most people don’t realize that. The way we think and feel that’s how we create our reality. When I read the sentence:

    “immediately had the feeling that this sword is for me”

    That’s exactly the attitude which will set the wheels in motion in the Universe to respond to your asking. Yes, you had challenges and had to work for it. But look back at your experience as you know best how really everything somehow worked itself out in favor to get you to your goal.

    I ask you: Wasn’t it fun? The journey, collecting all those experiences? Much more fun then if that sword would have magically appeared on your doorstep?

    That’s what life is all about. Having fun/joy/being happy and seeing your creations appear in a physical reality. The physical reality is not real. I know, this statement is one of the hardest ones to understand. Look at Quantum Physics. They are slowly discovering reality is not what we think it is.

    It’s a fun journey to start discovering the bigger picture. There will always be more to learn. Never believe you have all the answers.

    If you haven’t read it yet, then read the book Illusions by Richard Bach. It was written in the 70s, but it contains so much knowledge and it’s a great joy to read too.

    Believe me, if you truly want to discover reality you will attract more knowledge/books into your life.

    Always remain open-minded and skeptical. Collect experiences. They will provide you with the proof you need for yourself. But you cannot make other people truly understand your own personal experiences.

    Everyone of us must grow up by themselves. Other people can guide and help you, but they can’t do it for you.

    Love and Light,



    Great Story !!! Just As Freeman Holds The Precious Sword And The Responsibility That Comes With It… I Am The Proud Person Who Could Hear The Story Straight From The Adventurer… And Just As A 3D Movie Stands From A 2D.. So Does The Story Changes From ( Paper or Screen) To Voice… The passion, Frustrations, Adventures Come To Life… As A Plot Fitting For Raiders Of The Lost Ark… The Story Hold Twists, Turns And An ENDINGl Deserving A Standing Ovation ( No Kidding). As A Kid..Once I saw A band Of Nomads Sharing their Meals and Drinks with Roving Artists For The Pleasure Of Hearing Their Stories… I must say.. That day when i listened to this adventure… I felt truly connected to those primitive nomads… finding in the spoken word a medium to live And to dream.. The END…