From luxury homes to a wooden beach shack dating back to pre-WWII. From civilisation and a wealthy family originally from County Cork (Ireland) to a lonely wild life on a desert island. This is the story of a man who was a millionaire chairman of a major company. But when ‘the crash’ came out of nowhere, he lost $10 million (£8m) and his whole lifestyle fell apart.
His name is David Glasheen and after a marital breakdown, he found another girlfriend, hoping to ‘escape the world’ and live alone in the wild. But when his then-partner decided that life as a hunter gatherer was not for her, she left him and he found himself alone again. So he decided to move to Restoration Island, off North East Australia, in 1997 and settled there for good.
Since then, David has been living alone for 20 years, like a bearded castaway and with a dog as his only companion. He became a master of survival. He can cope with the harsh elements and the dangerous wildlife on the island, keeping remarkably healthy over two decades (except when he was bitten by a poisonous white-tailed spider and airlifted to hospital for immediate treatment). He catches crabs, fish and prawns, and grows his own vegetables to survive.
David Glasheen says he likes living an exiled existence, far from terrorist attacks and feeling safer than in many other parts of the world. He wants to build a small, eco-friendly not-for-profit health retreat and wants to die on his island paradise. But is he really a complete, genuine Robinson Crusoe, or is this condition just a consequence of losing all his money?
Well, he actually has electricity, even though just from solar panels and a backup generator. Yet, a limited running water was installed a few years ago (not bad given he lived for decades without).
David also has an internet connection and spends time following the news, surfing on social media and watching Britain’s Got Talent videos on YouTube.
And once a year, David travels to Cairns, the nearest city in the Queensland – almost 621 miles from Restoration Island – to complete a grocery shop.
He opted for a wild solitary life on a desert island, he said, because this life style keeps him away from the stress of the ‘civilised world’ and from a lot of anger and bitterness there. But after 20 years spent alone, he misses theatre and live music, the social interaction like dinner parties with men and women together. In addition, he now wishes to find a girlfriend who would be willing to live in the wild.
So I’m wondering if he is consistent and can be really considered a Robinson Crusoe. What do you think? Would you ‘retire” on a desert island living like him? Would you be able to survive?