David Gleshin, 78, is a modern-day Robinson: in 1997, he lives alone on Restoration Island at the northern tip of Australian Queensland. His whole company is a faithful dingo dog and two mannequins. However, approaching the 80th birthday, Gleshin does not feel so healthy anymore and therefore is looking for companions who could help him in case of problems, according to the Daily Mail.
Before moving here, Gleshin led the life of a successful businessman. He had a toy company valued at its peak at $10 million, a wife and two children, with whom he lived in a house in Sydney overlooking the harbour. Everything came crashing down on Black Monday, October 19, 1987, the day the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped the most in its history and the Australian stock exchanges suffered the most. Gleshin lost his business, his property was seized, his wife left him.
In 1997, he moved to Restoration Island with his then girlfriend. Soon she gave birth to their child and decided to return to the mainland, believing that it was safer to raise children in civilized conditions. Since then, Gleshin has been living all alone, except for a tamed dingo dog and two mannequin dolls. Until recently, this situation suited him absolutely, but on the threshold of the ninth decade, the body began to falter.
“I'm not 18 anymore and I can feel it,” he says. - Once I fainted, another time I fell and broke my hip. The phone does not always work, so the best protection for me is the company of people. When you're 80, the wheels start falling off. That's what's happening." The islander invites to his island a middle-aged couple with relevant skills, to whom he is ready to pay a small stipend - he has no way to pay a full salary.
Gleshin does not even consider the option to leave the island. Living there is not easy, the conditions are harsh, and "everything always goes wrong." However, he does not dream of another life. “It would be better if I never lived in the city, but was born here, in the bushes. We are all forced to do the same thing. We finish school, and then they expect us to go into the family business, become doctors, lawyers, accountants or something else. And we dutifully do it. Half of marriages fail. Everywhere broken families, children without parents. And we still wonder why these children grow up unhappy”.
According to Gleshin, he moved to the island with a suitcase containing only "three shirts, two pairs of shorts and swimming trunks, a decent flashlight, a couple of books, some toothpaste and a toothbrush". He has maintained a minimalist lifestyle all these years. Collects rainwater for drinking, as well as water from the drainage basin in the hilly areas of the island. As for food, “all the necessary protein” is available in the ocean, so among the main items of the islander are fishing tackle, a net for catching bait, flint for kindling a fire and a knife for brushwood. Right there, on the island, he collects coconuts, almonds, cherries, plums and capers, and once a year he sails in a boat to the mainland, from where he brings a supply of canned food and dried foods. As for leisure, Gleshin has a solar-powered internet connection and a supply of good books.
In 2019, Gleshin published The Millionaire Castaway, a book in which he told his story. According to him, the island helped him “jump out of the vicious circle where you have to make good money in order to live a lifestyle by which other people evaluate your success”. Resto, as the ex-millionaire calls his island, is “the best place for a full life. Spending the day fishing and the night knitting nets is my idea of bliss”.