Finding Balance: Dad Enjoys the Life He Wants

New Jersey agent Drew Robustelli gains satisfaction in real estate, raising his daughter and catching waves

By Shara Rutberg

Drew Robustelli

Drew Robustelli has two favorite suits. One is made from fine Italian wool. The other is neoprene.

“If I’m not in one, I’m in the other,” says Robustelli, a Sales Associate with RE/MAX Homeland Realtors in Freehold, N.J.

Robustelli grew up surfing in Brooklyn, and although his native borough may be better known for spectacular accents than for big waves, “there are some great breaks out in the Rockaways,” he says.

Being out on the water, surrounded by sea and sky, reminds Robustelli of how “insignificant” he is in the grand scheme of things.

“It’s a spiritual thing,” he says. “It resets me. It clears my head. It’s my soul food.”

Robustelli has sought that soul food all around the world. Each February, he heads to Hawaii to ride the waves with a surfing pal who lives on Oahu’s North Shore. Each June, he spends a week with friends surfing the beaches north of Zihuatanejo, Mexico. At home, where Robustelli lives about 25 minutes from the beach, he surfs the shores of Asbury Park and Island Beach State Park.

Robustelli’s other passion is his 4-year-old daughter, Isabella.

“Being a single dad, I appreciate the freedom that RE/MAX offers,” he says. “I can have a career, spend time with my daughter and still enjoy the things I love, like surfing.”

Real estate, he says, has allowed him to achieve a great level of balance in life.

He’s also been getting the next generation of Robustellis ready to ride waves.

“Of course I’ve been giving my daughter swim lessons!” he says, laughing.

The inevitable scenario of sending his child out alone to face the ocean armed only with a surfboard doesn’t scare him. Neither do riptides. So what terrifies him?

“That Isabella will one day be a teenager who starts dating,” Robustelli says. “That scares me way more than even the biggest wave.”

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