Hi, I'm Blake.

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

Welcome.

Blake in 20 seconds:

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

I design and lead multi-week experiential programs for ages 14-20 through my company Unschool Adventures.

You can find my thoughts and advice about taking alternative paths through the high school and college years at Off-Trail Learning, where I podcast.

I’m the author of three books related to education, and I’ve appeared on The Huffington Post, The New York Times, USA Today, BBC Travel, NPR affiliate radio, Psychology Today, and Fox Business. I also give keynote presentations at education conferences and alternative schools.

I live a nomadic life, which I’ve written about at How to Live Nowhere.

To follow my journey, subscribe to my Facebook posts and newsletter. You can write me anytime.

Upcoming Appearances:

  • AltPath in Dallas/Fort Worth, TX (April 29, 2017)
  • HSC Conference in San Francisco, CA (July 27-30, 2017)

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

2016 in Review

Welcome to my annual year in review! I’ve got lots of photos and stories to share with you from a very adventurous 2016.

This year I’m also doing something new: Instead of just recounting the past 12 months, I’m also doing a forward-looking review. I’m going to tell you now what I hope to have accomplished by the end of 2017.

The question I’m asking myself, as Chris Guillebeau puts it: “This time next year, what 3-5 things will have made the year amazing?”

By December 2017, I hope to tell you that I…

  • ran two impactful programs for self-directed young people that earned glowing feedback: the 12-week Argentina Semester and 7-week Southeast Asia trip.
  • gave presentations in England and Europe as part of a self-organized speaking tour meant to spread the ideas behind self-directed learning.
  • dedicated serious time to dance—tango and blues fusion—through festivals, private lessons, and social dancing.
  • built, tested, and launched my first online course.
  • spent at 30+ days hiking or backpacking.

I see this as a combination of new year’s resolutions, staying true to my goals, and fortune-telling. I’m not discounting the possibility or importance of serendipitous events; I’m just trying to go into 2017 with some clear intentions for how I’ll measure my success.

Alright—now back to 2016! I’ve divided the year into five parts:

  1. Guatemala
  2. New Zealand
  3. Argentina
  4. California
  5. On The Road

Part 1: Guatemala

January

On New Year’s day I woke in Xela, Guatemala, where I spent January escaping the winter, improving my Spanish, and reflecting on my nomadic lifestyle. I arrived on December 31st from Oaxaca (Southern Mexico) via a series of buses, taxis, and bicycle rickshaws. Traveling solo with a lingering lower back injury, I wasn’t able to walk very far, so I spent a lot of time working from my sweet top-floor apartment overlooking Xela (a.k.a. Quetzaltenango) which I rented for $550/month.

Xela, Guatemala

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