Hi, I'm Blake.

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

Welcome.

Me in 20 seconds:

I’m an author, adventurer, entrepreneur, and educator who helps young people become more self-directed.

I design and lead multi-month experiential programs for ages 14-21 through my company Unschool Adventures.

My work and I have appeared on The Huffington Post, The New York Times, USA Today, BBC Travel, NPR affiliate radio, Psychology Today, and Fox Business.

I give away much of my writing for free.

For most of my adult life I’ve lived nomadically, but I always circle back to High Sierra mountains of Northern California. I’m a passionate trail runner and backpacker.

UPDATE: Here’s what I’m up to right now.

To follow my journey, subscribe to my public Facebook posts and e-mail newsletter. To get in touch, e-mail me. I respond to pretty much everyone.

Learn more on my bio and by clicking around. 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

How to Be Interesting

On my recent Unschool Adventures New Zealand trip, I started a list entitled “WAYS TO BE INTERESTING / MAKE FRIENDS / CREATE NEW OPPORTUNITIES”.

Being “interesting” is a mysterious characteristic that many people want but no one is exactly sure how to obtain. I was ruminating on this and decided to attempt to create a list of simple, positive prescriptions that might make someone more interesting.

(Of course, “interesting” depends on the company you keep. It’s not so simple. Really, this was about what I, weirdo Blake Boles, along with the other weirdos in my group, found interesting. Bias acknowledged!)

My trip co-leaders and participants gave me lots of useful feedback. Here are the highlights:

  • Obtain traditional success and then give it up.
  • Go on a long human-powered journey (e.g. walking, biking).
  • Speak candidly (or write publicly) about your failures and struggles.
  • Curate the best links/articles/resources about a topic near to your heart, and share them.
  • Organize a community skill-share.
  • Host potlucks and dinner parties.
  • Partner dance.
  • Do extreme personal growth challenges.
  • Break minor rules.
  • Find ways to get something for free that others pay for (ethically).
  • Speak a second language.
  • Be an active listener.
  • Craft things by hand.
  • Build your own house.
  • Give valuable things away without expectation of repayment.
  • Actively seek out people who challenge your beliefs.
  • Put down your goddamn phone/laptop.
  • Travel without a fixed plan/itinerary.
  • Be comfortable with silence.
  • Figure out your communication style and attempt to improve its weaknesses.
  • Vow to never complain.
  • Give free walking tours of your local area.
  • Use Couchsurfing to meet and/or host travelers.
  • Actively acknowledge what you’re grateful for.
  • Don’t do something just for the sake of being interesting.

What are we missing?

Original list:

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