A deeply personal travel narrative that combines physical hardships with an emotional and spiritual journey
Twelve years after his classic travel narrative Annapurna Circuit Andrew Stevenson returns alone once again to the Himalayas on a deeply personal quest, a journey both corporal and spiritual. Narrowly escaping paralysis after shattering his spine in a motorbike accident weeks after his younger brother's untimely death, Stevenson's hike up to Everest Base Camp is as much introspective passage of healing as intriguing depiction of his fellow backpackers and the Sherpa people. Lying in a hospital bed in a morphine-induced state of hallucination after his accident, Stevenson promises himself to go back to the Himalayas, to heal. Five months after his mishap, and against all the odds, this recuperative solitary climb into high mountain valleys provides a spectacular backdrop to an emotional acknowledgment and acceptance of a lost sibling. Interlaced with the hardships of pushing to the edge of personal physical endurance and beyond, The Envelope: Walking up to Everest Base Camp is a richly rewarding read on every level.
Although his family have been in Bermuda for over thirty years, Andrew was born in Canada, and then spent his childhood in Hong Kong, India, Kenya, Scotland, Malaysia and Singapore. He studied postgraduate international economics in France, Canada and Norway and worked as an international economist for two Canadian banks before joining the United Nations Development Programme. He was assigned to the UNDP offices in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, remained in the country after a two year stint with the UN, obtained his pilot's licence and started a safari company in the Selous Game Reserve. After five years in East Africa he returned to North America to become a financial advisor, and to upgrade his pilot's licence. He has subsequently worked as a consultant in international development for the Canadian, Norwegian and Swedish governments, travelling over most of Africa and Asia. He was owner of two adventure companies in Norway. He currently lives in Bermuda with his Kiwi wife Annabel and daughters Elsa and Somers where he writes and researches whales full time.
He is well known in Bermuda for his Family Man articles in the RG Magazine.