About Me

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

Brief 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 has delivered keynote presentations for homeschooling conferences, started a podcast, created a social network for young people opting out of college, and written about living nomadically. He and his work have appeared on TEDx, The Huffington Post, USA Today, The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, 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 philosophy 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 34 years old.

Yet Even More!

  • Read about my mission and how I ended up doing what I do.
  • Other ways I exist in the world: Couchsurfing | OkCupid
  • This audio interview (2015) offers a nice overview of my life and work:

How I Spend My Free Time

  • Trail running and ultralight backpacking
  • Reading and writing (often while sipping post cappuccinos in coffeeshops)
  • Traveling internationally and doing short-term living experiments in new places
  • Reading about economics, entrepreneurship, psychology, history, and health
  • Playing frisbee, walking on slacklines, and dominating others in Settlers of Catan

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
  • Thomas Sowell – iconoclastic communicator of basic economic concepts



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 my social development in college.
  • The 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.)