Getting to Know Me Just a Little - May 2022 Challenge

Real Estate Agent with eXp Realty of California, Inc. CA DRE #01490977
  1. What was your first job and what did you learn from it? I worked at a large horse farm near my house starting around age 12 or so. I was big into being an equestrian and had my own horse. I was there most days after school doing a variety of things, and certainly learned a bit about being responsible, showing up on time, balancing a job and school, and how to interact with adults (other clients of the farm owners). When I got older, and was a more experienced equestrian, I was able to give riding lessons, too.

Me on my horse around age 15 

  1. How long have you been in the real estate or related service industry? Since June 2002 in Boston (RE/MAX Destiny in Cambridge’s Harvard Square), and June 2005 in California


  1. What is your biggest fear and what have you done to try to conquer it? Snakes are up there on the list but I am particularly fearful of spiders, no matter what size. The bigger ones really creep me out. There’s nothing to conquer – I don’t like them, plain and simple! The grandkids think this is hilarious. I don’t!


  1. What would you do if you knew you would not fail? We really enjoyed having our art gallery back in Boston for 3 years so would likely open one again if time and finances permitted.


  1. What is a habit you would love to eliminate or change? I can procrastinate from time to time, but have gotten better about not doing this. I’m still procrastinating about changing this habit, and probably always will.


  1. What is your favorite meal (forget about calories or what you shouldn’t eat). Homemade pasta…mine or anyone else’s. And I’ve never met a chocolate I didn’t like. It’s #1 on my personal major food groups list. So give me pasta followed by something chocolate and I’m a pretty happy foodie.


  1. What is something you wish you’d done? There isn’t anything in particular that comes to mind. I’ve done a lot and am pretty happy with my life. But it's something to ponder as life moves along and there is less time remaining! You never know what might strike my fancy.


  1. Who has been most influential in your life? My wife, in so many ways!


  1. What are your favorite business-related books? Can’t say there are particular favorites, but I liked the The E-Myth, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Who Moved My Cheese, and The Seven Deadly Sins of Sales.


  1. Other than business books what are your favorite things to read? I enjoy reading murder mysteries.


  1. What are your top 5 favorite movies? I don’t watch a lot of movies, and haven’t actually been in a movie theater for several decades! But what first comes to mind: White Christmas (every year), Soapdish, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Young Frankenstein, and Singing in the Rain.


  1. If I came to visit your city for one day what is the one thing I must do or see? See me, and take a walk on the beach, particularly at sunset – there are 7 miles to enjoy! 

 Terramar Beach in Carlsbad

  1. If I came to your city to visit for one day what is the one restaurant you would recommend? If you visit longer I get to pick more restaurants! There are so many to enjoy (yes, there are some I would NOT recommend). But if I have to name just 1, let’s go with award-winning: Jeune et Jolie, a Michelin 1 Star restaurant in Carlsbad Village. My treat! But if you crave fresh seafood, Bluewater Grill!


  1. If I was going to relocate to your area what advice would you give me that is unique to the area? If you are going to freak out about potential earthquakes, possible wildfires, serious drought, lots of traffic, and high prices, perhaps rethink your options. But we sure have great weather, most of the time!! I love where I live and am always happy to share what I know.


  1. Do you have any special talents? Sad to say if I do they’ve been hidden from view. I keep looking, and hoping something will appear.


  1. Do you have any quirks? I have a really tough time when I see art work on the wall that is crooked. I have to resist the strong temptation to fix it when showing houses, or even when touring galleries. But of course I don’t! I think it comes from all the hours I spent hanging hundreds of paintings in our art gallery back in Boston, and wanting everything just right for visitors/clients and art magazine photographers!


  1. What is your best character trait? I’m a pretty humble person, actually, and unpretentious.


  1. Have you ever done anything you would never do again because it was too hard or too dangerous? Well, never is a long time. But riding a bike with several thousand people from Boston to NY City (325 miles) for an AIDS Benefit over 3 days was a pretty intense life experience. And I hadn’t been on a bike for several decades – I had to buy a bike and train in 3 months to prepare. And then I did it again the following year from NY to Boston over 4 days (350 miles). Would I make a long ride like this a 3rd time? I doubt it.

    NOTE: The photo at the top was taken of me while riding through Connecticut along the coast on the 2nd bike ride, Day 2.

    I would add hitchhiking, sometimes by myself, when I was in college in Ohio, heading back to the East Coast. It was a dumb thing to do. Not doing that ever again!


  1. What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time? I don’t think of it as spare time, but time for me! Spending time at the beach. And visiting our kids and grandkids in Los Angeles when their, and our, busy schedules don’t conflict. They are close enough for a day trip.


  1. If you could live anywhere in the world where would you want to live?  I’d want to be near my daughters and their families, so unless they move somewhere away from LA we are here to stay. I could enjoy having a house on the beach again, however! And maybe living in Boston part of the year (but NOT the winter part!). This used to be our vacation house on Lt. Island in Wellfleet (Cape Cod), MA - we sold it before relocating to CA in 2005.

 Our former beach house on Lieutenant Island/Cape Cod MA

  1. What is something that we don’t know about you that would surprise us? I worked for about 4 years in the Child Psychiatry Department (infant/toddler unit) at the Tufts New England Medical Center in Boston while finishing up my PhD in Developmental Psychology at Wayne State University in Detroit. It was pretty intense but I later decided working in a medical facility was not for me, and moved into the Corporate Human Resources field, starting with National Car Rental at their headquarters in Minneapolis.


Well, I've certainly said enough about me. Hopefully I didn't bore you to tears!


Thanks Kathy Streib and Carol Williams for hosting such a fun challenge. It's been fun reading all the posts!

Posted by

Jeff Dowler, CRS
Certified Residential Specialist / Realtor®

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Enjoy the beach life in Carlsbad, Oceanside, Encinitas,
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Comments (40)

Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, Phoenix Broker 

Glad you enjoyed it. Yep the bike rides, especially the first, were intense. I rode with about 10 other people from the marketing company where I worked so that helped. The first day we had a thunderstorm and heavy rain as the ride started.  Nothing like having to empty water out of your bike shoes.

No doubt we will be in AZ again and can get together - it would be a blast...again.


May 13, 2022 12:18 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543 

Well, as I think you know I grew up on the Main Line which is horse country. Yes I did compete for a number of years till I went off to college, including a couple of national events.

We had the art gallery in Cambridge for 3 years before shutting it down for our relocation to CA.

Enjoy your weekend!


May 13, 2022 12:22 PM
John Marshall - FORE!
LoKation Real Estate - Cherry Hills Village, CO
Specializing in Golf Course Properties

I really love reading these "about me" posts, people I have followed for years, I am finally learning more about them personally.

Jeff did you write the song "I don't like spiders and snakes" or am I getting you mixed up with another dude?

May 13, 2022 12:36 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Ha ha John Marshall - FORE! 

Well I didn't write the song but I sure could have. Not sure which is worse, but I seem to run across spiders far more often than snakes, thank goodness. 


May 13, 2022 01:02 PM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Forget about it Jeff Dowler, CRS I think I really know you . It has been a long time and I always enjoy your stories 😌

May 13, 2022 01:10 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Thanks so much Hannah Williams  I feel the same!

I appreciate your stopping by to read!

Have a wonderful weekend!


May 13, 2022 01:24 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Jeff Dowler, CRS - I always felt you were an amazing man and now I am convinced. You have lived a good life and your values shine through in your words, actions, and your communication skills. You have a done a lot with your life and I know you have many more dreams to fulfill. That summer home you owned in Cape Cod looks like something I could only dream about staying there for a mini get away. How lucky you were to have owned a vacation house and enjoy it too. There is nothing else that compares to the sound of the ocean. It has a heartbeat of its own. Your equestrian experience is awesome. Living a full life like you have is definitely something to be proud of. May you continue to fill up your bucket lists as time goes by.  

May 13, 2022 02:36 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP 

Thank you so much for your heartfelt comments!

Our vacation home really was special and we always felt how very lucky we were to have it and to be able to share it with friends and family. It was heartbreaking to give it up but we knew with our relocation it was the right decision.

Who know what lies ahead?!


May 13, 2022 03:23 PM
Aura Alex
CloseMyDeal, LLC - Seattle, WA
Need A TC? Virtual TC Services Nationwide

Awww, Jeff. I had no idea you were once a Bostonian and a Cyclist! And the best part is that you were a resident of Cape Cod. Wow! small world. What town or city were you living in Cape Cod area?

Even though I have not met you in person, it feels like I have seen you around Harvard Square! Or, were you one of those cycling around Nantucket Island? Or, walking the beautiful beaches in Hyannis Port?

A fascinating story you shared!

May 13, 2022 06:54 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Aura Alex - thanks for stopping by!! 

Our house on the Cape was in Wellfleet (on the bay side, not the ocean), although the first beach house we had was in Brewster. We went to the Cape often, given we lived in the Boston area for 20+ years (until 2005). No cycling on Nantucket but we visited.

We lived near Harvard Square for about 6 years and I started in RE there - what a great area, isn't it? There's nothing like it that I've seen, except perhaps Berkeley CA.


May 13, 2022 07:03 PM
Aura Alex

I loved spending time in Harvard Square. I loved and loved Mr. Bartley's Gourmet Burgers (true American Classic Burgers). And my most favorites past time was Harvard's Book Store!!
I have never been to Berkeley, CA, but I can compare Harvard Square to the University District in Seattle (although I would say a mini Harvard Square in Seattle). Thank you for reminding me of your story of my Bostonian life years ago and the cold winter that kicked me out of Boston to the Pacific NW. 

May 13, 2022 07:48 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS

Aura Alex 

I don't recall going to the burger place but the Harvard Coop was the best!! And I get the winter issue - that's ultimately what got us to leave Boston and head to CA!

May 13, 2022 08:04 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Bore us? OMG, NO! I love your answers and while I knew many of these things, I still loved everything you wrote! I do have to admit that I would never had sold that home on Cape Cod in 2005 - now, THAT is my dream home!! 

Thank you so much for sharing these interesting details - did I say, NEVER boring, Jeff!

May 13, 2022 07:43 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Thanks so much Debe Maxwell, CRS  Glad you weren't bored!!

Selling the Wellfleet house was very difficult emotionally. We looked at the financials of the move west (and issues of being 3000 miles away with harsh winters on the Cape, erosion issues on the island, and more includig rental challenges) and it seemed like the right choice. I have to say there are times I wish we felt we could make it work.


May 13, 2022 08:17 PM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Dinner is on you?  I am getting in my car right now!  Ha!  I enjoyed reading about your experiences and getting to know you a bit better.  The picture of the beach you featured is beautiful and looks very inviting. 

When we went on our honeymoon in Costa Rica, we rode a horse one day.  It was my first experience.  As we were riding, Mary Margaret told me to let the horse run so it would be a smoother ride.  I looked at her very surprised and said, "we are not running?"  A bit later, my horse found a river he liked and proceeded to rest right in the middle of it.  MM had to come in on her horse and rescue me.  As we returned to the stables, my horse realized his day was about done, then I learned what a horse running felt like.  I will leave the horses to an expert like you and to my lovely wife.

May 16, 2022 07:40 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

That's a pretty funny story Raymond Henson, eXp Realty  Horses will sometimes do what they want and not what the rider wants.

I haven't been on a horse in many years now.


May 16, 2022 08:18 AM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Jell so you have the Adrian Munk phobia of having to straighten things ...... LOL

May 16, 2022 04:54 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

I guess so George Souto  It's pretty easy to manage...LOL.

Thanks for coming by!


May 16, 2022 05:38 PM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Hi Jeff,
What an interesting life! I've only ridden a horse a couple of times but as kids we rode our bikes everywhere. The only competition was to see who could get to the ice cream stores the fastest. LOL  

May 18, 2022 06:47 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Thank you Carol Williams 

My best friend and I used to ride our bikes for miles - we lived out in horse country. There was a general store several miles away that had great candy!

I haven't been on a horse for many years and actually have no desire to do so.


May 18, 2022 11:17 AM
Eileen Burns
Trans State Commercial RE Ft. Lauderdale/Miami/Palm Beach - Fort Lauderdale, FL
FLorida Real Estate Connector

boring? not... Thanks for sharing and peeling back a few layers.  Glad you are living a happy life with your family and enjoyed this adventure call life😎

May 21, 2022 08:19 AM
Susan Emo
Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage - Kingston, ON
Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area

In reading this I was struck by how much life you've already lived!  From Boston to Carlsbad, sounds like a movie title, lol  I really enjoyed learning more about you and found it a fascinating read.  Thanks for sharing with us.

May 23, 2022 10:26 AM