Trip Leader & Director of Unschool Adventures
Blake’s first big adventures were living abroad in Chile at age 14, backpacking Western Europe at 19, and traversing South America at 24. He quickly realized that a traditional career wouldn’t work for him, and he set about building a company that would let him continue exploring the world.
Blake got involved in the world of alternative education in 2003, when half-way through an astrophysics major he read a John Taylor Gatto book and soon became an advisor at Not Back to School Camp. He is the author of College Without High School, Better Than College, The Art of Self-Directed Learning, and Why Are You Still Sending Your Kids to School? He’s also the former acting director of a wilderness summer camp where he co-led an intensive teen leadership program, a recently certified Wilderness First Responder, currently certified in Mental Health First Aid, and a formerly certified Emergency Medical Technician, and a UC Berkeley graduate. Learn more at blakeboles.com.
Milla spent their childhood bouncing back and forth between the U.S and small town Germany. They were introduced to the world of unschooling in 2016 when, as a junior in high school, they left to join an Unschool Adventures program to Nepal. Milla became fascinated with alternative education models and partner dance and spent time traveling across the country growing their skillset.
Eventually, Milla found themselves working at the High Desert Center in Colorado, leading gap year programs centered around sustainability and community living while teaching dance to young people. Milla holds a deep love for games, chocolate, community and swimming in cold rivers. They recently moved to Portland, Oregon, to dive deeper into their dance education and works as a dance instructor and event organizer.
Born and raised in Argentina, Mica grew up devouring books and dreaming of all the far-off places she would visit one day. Her love for nature led her to study Atmospheric Sciences, volunteer at a Nature Reserve, and work as a hiking guide and English teacher in Patagonia. She holds a current certification as a Wilderness First Responder.
Fluent in both English and Spanish, Mica has also formally studied English Translation. After questioning traditional school most of her life, Mica’s discovery of the world of unschooling in 2014 blew her mind and inspired her to volunteer with the Argentina Semester 2017 and co-lead the Humans of Mexico 2022 trip.
Sydney grew up unschooled in southern California among a quick-witted family that turned her (by nature or nurture) into a professional sass machine. She joined the Not Back To School Camp community at 15 where she later returned as Junior Staff, Senior Staff, and Assistant to the Director. Sydney has participated in multiple Unschool Adventures trips and traveled in England, France, Germany, Switzerland, Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay, and Guatemala. She’s excited to return to Berlin for a full month, and she’s a little afraid she’ll never leave Europe. Just kidding! She could never abandon her dog, sister, and other family members who she convinced to join her in beautiful Bellingham, Washington. When not crushing Blake in Settlers of Catan, Sydney manages a team for a major retail corporation and consumes far too many true crime stories.
Vick is a lifelong self-directed learner from San Jose, California. Vick discovered their passion for alternative education and community-building while attending Not Back to School Camp and Unschool Adventures trips as a teenager. At Not Back to School Camp, they found a sense of belonging and gained invaluable relationship-building skills, eventually taking Junior and Senior Staff positions. Traveling with UA to Colorado, Southeast Asia, and Spain, Vick learned cold-emailing, haggling, and conflict resolution, as well as the importance of forming healthy relationships and how to actively seek out what you want in life.
Two years ago Vick relocated to Eugene, Oregon, where they work as a barista (love coffee!) and live in a cute downtown apartment with a lifelong friend and a cat named Morty—the most beautiful creature in existence, according to Vick’s objective analysis. They also enjoy cooking, baking, and learning about geography and queer history on YouTube. Vick is excited to explore Berlin’s art scene, try vegan German food, and bring back new Euro-games to play with their roommates.
Ari developed wanderlust at a young age and has been fortunate to travel consistently for the past decade, visiting parts of South America, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa and Southeast Asia. She strives to live life doing the things she loves, which lately has meant working as a field instructor for Outward Bound in Oregon and California, exploring the west’s rivers, mountains and canyons, routinely eating herself into a coma, and attempting to play more than four chords on the guitar. She is a current Wilderness First Responder, graduate of UC Davis, and certified sriracha lover. She previously served as a UA trip leader for New Zealand 2019, Southeast Asia 2017 and Adventure Semester 2015.
Nick is an avid adventurer, outdoor educator, and writer. He enjoys watching the sunrise from his sleeping bag, savoring his cup of coffee, David Bowie dance parties, playing his guitar, and dreaming up extreme adventures that often involve a touch of suffering. He is currently attempting to Stand Up Paddleboard from the source of the Colorado River in the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming all the way to its terminus in the Sea of Cortez in the Gulf of California. He is a graduate of Green Mountain College and the University of Utah, as well as a current Wilderness First Responder.
Katie was a self-directed homeschooler her whole life leading up to university, so self-directed learning has been important to her since the beginning. Throughout her high school years she was able to travel with other like-minded teens through international and domestic long-term trips and is excited to pass on the fun to a new group of young travelers.
Katie is jazzed about building community, and preferably building it outside. After traveling through Peru, Mexico, the Netherlands, and Belize in the past few years, building empathy and communication with new groups of people in new places has become addictive for her. She will be spending the beginning of 2019 loving up on Morocco, England, Ireland and the Camino de Santiago in Spain, where she will exercise her second love: storytelling and listening. Katie is currently studying journalism and women’s studies with a concentration in life-narrative writing at Colorado State University. She is also an alumni of UA’s Adventure Semester in 2015.
Born and raised in Spain, Fred participated extensively in the scouts as a young person and throughout his time at the University of Valencia. But the world was not big enough for him, so he spent a year studying abroad in England and traveled to California three times to serve as a climbing instructor and assistant director at Deer Crossing wilderness summer camp. The Deer Crossing teen leadership program led him to discover the world of alternative education, and soon thereafter, Unschool Adventures. Fred is currently pursuing Master’s Degree in exercise physiology in Calgary, Canada. When he’s not studying or in the lab, he enjoys reading, traveling on the cheap, moving in the mountains, and pursuing meaningful human connection. Fred is looking forward to sharing his homeland with a group of North American unschoolers. He is certified in Wilderness First Aid.
Cori grew up homeschooling in midcoast Maine. At age 14 she left home and family to spend a year abroad in Costa Rica, where her passion for adventure and the Spanish language and culture flowered. Since then she has independently explored France, Italy, Nicaragua, Belgium, Mexico, and most recently, Spain, where she spent three months solo-hiking the Camino de Santiago, backpacking around the country, and volunteering on organic farms. Before the Unschool Adventures Spain trip, Cori will be interning at the High Desert gap year program in Colorado. When not galavanting around the world, she loves frisbee, dogs, art, singing, dancing, and playing her guitar. She is a current Wilderness First Responder.