Hi, I'm Blake.

I help young adults challenge themselves, feel engaged, and become better self-directed learners.


I’m an author, adventurer, and entrepreneur who helps young people become better self-directed learners and take charge of their educations, careers, and lives.

I’ve published three books and many articles, led teenagers across South America, Australia, New Zealand, and Nepal (through my company Unschool Adventures), and appeared on The Huffington Post, The New York Times, USA Today, BBC Travel, and Fox Business.

My current work and projects include:

  • running a 6-week New Zealand trip for 11 teens in Feb-Mar 2016
  • brushing up on my Spanish in Guatemala (Jan ’16) and tango in Argentina (Apr-May ’16)
  • planning more Unschool Adventures programs for late 2016 & onwards
  • fleshing out an exciting new book idea
  • …and more

I travel often, but I always seem to circle back to the mountains of the western United States. I love trail running, ultralight backpacking, summer camps, and living close to the wilderness.

Learn more by browsing my biovideos, and personal goal list. Or subscribe to my public posts on Facebook. Or join my twice-a-month newsletter. Or drop me a line. Or do it all. Thanks for visiting.

Blake Boles is open-minded, interested in everything, courageous, and passionately committed to individual development. I would expect good things to happen for young people who had the good fortune to hang out with Blake for a while.

– John Taylor Gatto
New York State Teacher of the Year

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 My Latest Books

The Art of Self-Directed Learning

Better Than College

From the Blog

Pay Yourself in Time, Not Money

I’m 33, and last year I earned $30,000.

Perhaps that should give me pause. Compared to other male college graduates who make $65,000 around my age—or my peers in tech who make much more—I’m seriously lagging.

I’m not that concerned. In fact, I feel utterly rich, because last year I took home another income: 8 months of my life.

To explain: I’m a self-employed travel tour leader. I work intensively for brief periods of time (e.g. leading a 6-week trip across New Zealand), earn a chunk of money, and then stop working. I’m also a writer who brings in roughly $600/month from two self-published books that largely sell themselves on Amazon. Occasionally I do paid speaking gigs and private education coaching.

In 2015 I earned my $30,000 doing the equivalent of 4 months full-time labor. The majority of that time was spent trip-leading; the rest accrued from the 1-2 hours of laptop work that I do most days of the week (business e-mails, trip planning, writing, coaching).

Another way to see it: I earn $90,000 per year, but I take two-thirds of my compensation in the form of unadulterated free time.

I choose to pay myself in time, not money, because it’s a better currency for obtaining what really matters to me.
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