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 discover self-directed learning and begin to 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, USA Today, The New York Times, BBC Travel, and Fox Business.

Some of my big projects for 2015-16 include:

  • producing a podcast on what it means to get a “real education”
  • running a 10-week Adventure Semester for 22 teens
  • running a 6-week New Zealand trip for 11 teens
  • developing an online “crash course” for self-directed young people

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

Learn more by browsing my biovideos, and personal goal list. Or check out my public posts on Facebook. Or, even better: join my mailing list. Heck, 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

20 Non-Awkward Ways to Meet People While Traveling Solo

I’ve got a new article up on the Huffington Post: 20 Non-Awkward Ways to Meet People While Traveling Solo.

I wrote it because I’m planning some serious solo travel in Mexico, Guatemala, New Zealand, and Argentina over the next year, and I wanted to review all the different ways I know—and discover new ways that I didn’t yet know—to meet new people while traveling on my own.

The full text is below. Enjoy!


Solo travel can be invigorating, enlightening — and terribly lonely.

Why not just “be friendly” and “say hi” to new people that you meet? Here’s why: because introducing yourself to a total stranger in a café (or bar, or party, or at a tourist attraction, or on public transport) can feel creepy, anxiety-provoking and awkward — especially when you don’t have a friend or two backing you up.

If you’re like me, you crave context before striking up a conversation as a solo traveler. You want to know something about the person, have a common subject of conversation, and, ideally, have already corresponded (through a website or e-mail) before meeting. With such a context established, people like us feel more prepared, confident, and relaxed in our socializing.

Here are the 20 best non-awkward ways I’ve discovered to meet new people while traveling solo, whether internationally or in your own country. Continue Reading