Meet Anthony Quill
Anthony Quill is a Minnesota dad and blogger who loves experiencing epic adventures with his wife and two kids. He is Twin Cities-based but globally bound, traveling with his family everywhere from Minnesota’s North Shore to Morocco, Spain, and Italy. No matter the distance, he always returns to his roots on the North Shore, and in particular the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Learn more about his family’s adventures on their blog at From Tent To Takeoff, on Instagram @fromtenttotakeoff, or on Facebook @fromtenttotakeoff.
My name is Anthony Quill, and I am a family travel blogger, father, adventurer, and steward of our shared wilderness areas. I grew up in a farming family, where we were always toeing the line between stewardship and making ends meet. I learned at a young age that caring for our shared natural places matters, and without it, nothing else can.
As a youth, I participated in the Boy Scouts of America, which introduced me to true wilderness camping. It was through those experiences, surrounded by amazing mentors and peers, that my stewardship journey really began. I still vividly remember walking hand in hand through our campsites, picking up even the smallest pieces of trash. Our leader, an old Vietnam War veteran, would watch with a careful eye. If we missed one piece of man-made debris, there was no desert that evening. To this day, I’m convinced that he planted some of those minuscule pieces of plastic just to test us.
My stewardship journey really changed when I became a father. With two kids, ages 7 and 9, I’ve learned that my actions matter in a big way. Kids mirror everything that their parents do, especially at young ages. If I saw a piece of litter on the ground and didn’t pick it up, then they would register that as acceptable behavior. If I picked it up, then they would too. It has forced me to be more conscious in my decisions to ensure I’m not inadvertently planting the wrong seeds in their minds. My wife and I try to instill environmental stewardship into our day-to-day lives. Practically speaking, this includes eating healthy, unprocessed foods from the environmentally conscious suppliers, limiting waste, and not buying stuff just to have stuff.
The writer Michael East has a great saying, “Gear, not Stuff.” We try to embody that mentality by only purchasing new goods when they have a significant impact on how we experience the world. In addition, we participate in and organize a number of cleanup events. We always bring a plastic bag on our walks and pick up trash as we go.
From 2014 to 2019, we lived in Malta, a small island in the Mediterranean. Like most island nations, it had a plastic pollution problem, and that plastic would flow right into the sea. We would bring a garbage bag on every walk we took and would pick up plastic bottles as we went. From a very young age, our kids helped to pick up thousands of plastic bottles in our adopted homeland.
Now that we are back home in Minnesota, each spring we walk the public shores of Long Lake and pick up trash leftover from the winter. This action often results in multiple garbage bags of junk gathered from the lake. The kids even throw on their waders and walk out to catch the floating debris. We do this because we care about our community and the world around us.
Once per year, we visit the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, which is our favorite place on earth. These trips help ground us from the chaos of the typical suburban life, and more importantly reminds us what wild places really are and why it is up to us to protect them.