Hi, I'm Blake.

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


Blake Boles | Author PortraitI’m an author, educator, adventurer, and entrepreneur who loves helping young people challenge themselves and connect with each other.

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

My big projects for 2015 include:

Beyond my professional life, I’m a passionate trail runner, backpacker, and traveler. I enjoy living close to the wilderness and getting outside each day.

To learn more, please browse my bioarticlesblog posts, videos, and personal goal list. Join my author mailing list to stay in the loop and get two digital editions of my books for free.

The Blake Boles I’m aware of as an author, a long-distance walker, a foreign traveler, a mountain climber, and many other worthwhile things seems like exactly the person to learn from in a leadership program. He’s 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 and author of Dumbing Us Down and Weapons of Mass Instruction

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 My Latest Books

The Art of Self-Directed Learning

Better Than College

From the Blog

Reflections on Podcasting

Last week I published the 10th episode of the Real Education Podcast, meeting my long-time goal of publishing 10 original audio or video episodes online. Now I’m asking myself: What’s working, what’s not, and should I keep going?

(If you’re not familiar, the Real Education Podcast is a weekly show in which I interview one person—or a small group/team—for 45 minutes. New episodes are released on Tuesdays on iTunes and Soundcloud. I launched it on March 10th, 2015.)

What I Like About Podcasting

Conversations: I love taking with people who have dedicated their lives to alternative education, outdoor/experiential education, or unschooling. The podcast has given me an excuse to have deep conversations with interesting people I already know and, more significantly, and an excuse to meet and interview new people. The interviews themselves are always fun and rewarding.

Positive feedback: A few people have taken the time to e-mail me, write a Facebook comment, or leave an iTunes review with some positive comments about the show. One guy—a fellow alternative educator—even sent me $100 (completely unsolicited) in gratitude for the Carsie Blanton episode, which deeply inspired his 18-year-old daughter. That felt nice!

Patronage: Also inspired by Carsie, I created a Patreon page where listeners who enjoy my show could set up a recurring donation (as low as $1)  for every episode I produced. Around episode #3 I jumped up to $15 in weekly patronage—$10 of which was thanks to one family member—and then it leveled off, sitting at $18 now. People are paying me to do this: that feels nice, too! Continue Reading