Mack McGowen spent 12 days live streaming from a deserted island in Newfoundland

The self-proclaimed planner returned home last week 20 pounds lighter and with a refined outlook following his Castaway Live experience.

“It's funny where you end up in life, right?” McGowen said.

Most recently for him, it was on Brunette Island – 3,000 miles from his home in Tyler.

His journey to Newfoundland began thanks to technology McGowen developed himself.

Along with a company providing internet speed solutions, he also owns TopDrive Communications, which takes cellular data to remote areas.

The technology was first developed for use in the oilfields, but now helps homes, hospitals and hotels access the internet, among others.

However, using his idea for live streaming life on a desert island was never exactly part of the plan.

“Oil and gas has dried up, and I'm doing a live streaming project,” he said. “Not only am I doing a live streaming project and the technical aspect of it… I'm in front of the camera, which is not expected at all.”

Though it was not part of the plan, it was an opportunity he could not pass up.

“I've always taken every opportunity that's come before me,” McGowen said. “And I guess I have a better tolerance for risk than most people, so I see an opportunity and I go ahead we discuss it and I try and take it.”

Castaway Live was no different. It provided an opportunity to test a new online entertainment concept along with a new way of putting McGowen’s idea to work.

“At the very least, it was a very fun vacation that I didn't have to pay for,” he said with a chuckle.

In reality, the test run drew more viewers than initially expected, McGowen said. The show’s producers hope to stream live from another deserted island in the coming months.

As he looks back on the experience, Castaway Mack reflects on one of its biggest lessons.

“I just think it sharpens what you already know,” he said. “Which is what's important is your family and everything else just doesn’t matter."

McGowen hoped to make it home in time for his daughter, Sheriden’s, first Halloween. This time, everything went according to plan for the McGowens.

Their costumes inspired by the movie Cast Away could only be considered fitting.

The McGowen family dressed up in Cast Away - themed costumes (Courtesy: Lauren McGowen)