About Me

Author, educator, entrepreneur, world traveler, self-directed learning advocate, trail runner.

Quick Bio

Click for full-res photo

Blake Boles builds exciting alternatives to traditional school for self-directed young people. He directs the company Unschool Adventures and is the author of The Art of Self-Directed LearningBetter Than College, and College Without High School.

Blake and his work have appeared on TEDx, The Huffington Post, USA Today, The New York Times, BBC Travel, Fox Business, Ignite, NPR affiliate radio, and the blogs of The Wall Street Journal and Wired.com.

Extended Bio

In 2003 Blake was studying astrophysics at UC Berkeley when he stumbled upon the works of John Taylor Gatto, Grace Llewellyn, and other alternative education pioneers. Deeply inspired by the philosophies of unschooling, Blake custom-designed his final two years of college to study education full-time. After graduating he joined the Not Back to School Camp community and began writing and speaking widely on the subject of self-directed learning.

In his previous lives, he has worked as a high-volume cook, Aurora Borealis physics researcher, delivery truck driver, math tutor, outdoor science teacher, EMT medic, summer camp director, market researcher, web designer, and windsurfing and tree climbing instructor. He keeps a running goal (and failure) list. His biggest passion is sharing his enthusiasm and experience with young adults who are blazing their own trails through life. He is 33 years old.

Yet Even More!

Click here to read about my mission and how I ended up doing what I do.

This audio interview (2015) offers a nice overview of my life and work:

Other ways I exist in the world: Couchsurfing | OkCupid

Some of My Passions

  • Trail running and ultralight backpacking
  • Seeking the perfect cappuccino
  • Meditating on how I spend my time and money
  • Frisbee, slacklining, and Settlers of Catan
  • Travel as a lifestyle and digital nomadism
  • Economics, entrepreneurship, psychology, history, and health

A Few People I Admire



  • Russ Roberts – host of my all-time favorite podcast
  • Deirdre McCloskey – author of eloquent books about economic history
  • Bryan Caplan – spreader of provocative educational ideas from an econ viewpoint


A Few People To Whom I’m Indebted

  • My smart, supportive parents.
  • Grace Llewellyn and Jim Wiltens for guiding my young-adult career path.
  • The Berkeley Student Cooperatives for the best possible college social environment.
  • The greater Not Back to School Camp and Deer Crossing Camp communities.
  • Every parent who ever sent their child on an Unschool Adventures program.
  • My readers (all of whom are highly intelligent and good looking).
  • Those on the Internet who I’ve never met yet generously support and promote my work.

(These are by no means exhaustive lists.)

Places I’ve Been

The Mountains

Wondering about the header image? It’s the Sierra Nevada mountains just south of Mammoth Lakes. Photo snapped by yours truly circa summer 2013.