The Millionaire Castaway
The man pictured above is David Glasheen. He traded the hustle and bustle of city life for the simplicity of island life over 30 years ago. While his story is a little more complicated than this, his life is emblematic of what’s possible when you possess the skills and mindset of a leader. While this story is often told to promote the theme of rejecting civilized life and money, there’s more to this story for those who care to probe a little deeper.
Today on Rob Raskins’ Millionaire Survivalist, we’ll take a closer look at the eccentric ex-millionaire who measures success and survival as the same. With only himself to rely on, he’s now 76 and still living an existence reminiscent of Tom Hanks on Castaway.
David used his knowledge of business to amass a fortune. When he lost it all in the Australian stock market crash of 1987, he failed to recover and lost his home in ‘91. Rather than return to the business world, David found a way to use OPM (other people’s money) to retreat from his failure. He convinced his business partners to lease Restoration Island (pictured above) long enough to exercise their option to build a resort.
This remote island north of Australia was aptly named by Captain Bligh, who was pleased to find a sustainable situation here after he and his loyal crew were forced off the HMS Bounty. Thanks to David’s remarkable story, we know more about the life Bligh and his men must’ve lived. For over 30 years, David has collected rainwater, gathered nuts, berries, and coconuts, and hunted and fished. Unlike Bligh, David occasionally hops a ride on to the mainland of Australia for supplies such as soap and other ingredients needed to brew his own beer. He trades this beer for other items with the local aboriginals.
Necessary to his psychological well-being, David extolls the virtues of communication with the outside world, which he gets from a solar-powered internet connection. He also values companionship, which he gets from his beloved dingo, Zeddi, and his two female mannequins. He’s actively pursuing a relationship online despite knowing he could be evicted at any time, now that his lease has expired and his remaining investors pulled out. Despite a judge’s ruling that he has no right to be there, the Aboriginals accept him, and he refuses to leave.
Ironically, the interest he’s gained from his eccentric lifestyle has led to writing a book (pictured above), where he answers the myriad questions that he gets from the public. In it, he describes the ways in which he went about his life and how it led him to make this choice. He advises people interested in living a similar life to learn what they can from books about survival and to just go camping.
My hope is he makes enough money and gets enough press to buy the right to build a proper home and settle here. Who knows, maybe he’ll build a resort that teaches people how to live like him.
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