Tribune Print Share Text

Worry-free home base

Lifelong adventure traveler loves living at Linden Ponds

Created date

March 22nd, 2018
Avid traveler Marty Griffin enjoys dessert at a restaurant near Lake Bled in Slovenia.

Marty Griffin enjoys dessert at a restaurant near Lake Bled in Slovenia.

At every stage of her life, Martha “Marty” Griffin has loved to see the world. When she was growing up in the Midwest, her family traveled. Then at age 15, she took a 30-day bicycle trip through New England and got bit by the travel bug.

She started traveling every year after that. She attended Miami University in Ohio and spent her junior year abroad in France.

“Then I went to Washington, D.C. and worked at the NSA [National Security Agency],” Marty says. “I moved to Boston in the late 60’s—I like to ski and I like the beach, and had I friends there and could live with them.”

Marty’s career also presented opportunities for travel. When she moved to Boston, Mass., she worked in the computer business. Her company sent her to Germany for nine months. Another job took her to Nice, France, where she also lived for nine months.

“I had a number of experiences living, working, and visiting abroad,” she says.

Later, Marty was looking for a career change, so she attended nursing school at Columbia University in New York City. She returned to Boston and worked at Children’s Hospital.

She did another stint in the computer industry, and she eventually retired in 2001.

She had taken a course to become a tour guide as her encore career. Unfortunately, the travel industry was decimated after 9/11, which crushed her plans. However, Marty was able to get a job planning day trips for people at the Framingham Senior Center.

Off the beaten path

Over the years, Marty estimates that she has been to about 70 or 80 countries. She’s taken a number of trips with Overseas Adventure Travel, which she says offers an educational component to its trips.

She’s been on a few traditional cruises but really enjoys traveling on small boats. One of her most memorable trips was on an eight-foot schooner off the coast of Alaska and British Columbia. Marty and seven other passengers got to explore some largely undiscovered territory.

“There are some islands off the coast of America and British Columbia,” Marty says. “It was a really interesting place to go. We had to fly on a small plane to get to these islands, and it’s uninhabited for the most part. So every day we’d stop at different islands, and we saw old-growth forest and old totem poles.”

Marty enjoyed that trip so much, she took it four different times.

“They have incredible wildlife, birdlife, and sea creatures, and the tides are huge,” Marty says. “There are five crew members for eight passengers, and the food is very good. You have fancy meals and lots of seafood and fresh fish.”

More travel, less worry

Marty lived for 30 years in a house in Framingham, Mass. In 2012, she decided to move to Linden Ponds, the Erickson living community in Hingham.

She wanted to continue traveling in her retirement and knew that living at Linden Ponds would make that easier. Linden Ponds community members who love to travel can just lock their doors and head to the airport.

The community has 24-hour security, so residents can rest easy knowing that their homes and belongings are safe and sound while they’re on vacation. And they never have to worry about coming home to a flooded basement or a house that’s been burglarized.

“I’ve always loved to travel, and I decided I didn’t want a house to worry about anymore,” Marty says. “I didn’t want to move twice—to a 55-and-older community first and then to Linden Ponds.”

Antarctic adventure

Earlier this year, Marty was getting ready for her very first trip to Antarctica, a destination that has been on her wish list. Her adventure was set to begin in Buenos Aries, and then her travel group would fly south of Argentina to catch a ship that would sail to Antarctica.

“The first three or four days can be the roughest part because you’re going through the Drake Passage, and there’s a lot of confluence of different currents,” Marty says. “Most trips are about nine days of sailing, but this trip is three extra days because we’re going farther south and will cross into the Arctic Circle.”

Marty’s Antarctica adventure will last 19 days. It will conclude with a few days in Argentina and Brazil, where the group will explore the Iguazu Falls, which is the largest waterfall system in the world.

“When I am traveling, what I enjoy is being active and hiking,” Marty says. “I like the scenery in places like Alaska and South America—glaciers and dramatic, majestic scenery.”

What’s next for this global adventurer? Marty says she’d like to visit Egypt, Jordan, and Iceland. She’s been to southern India and found it fascinating, so she’d also like to make it to the northern part of the country.

When she’s not off globetrotting, Marty has an active life in Massachusetts, both at Linden Ponds and with friends outside of the community.

She volunteers with her Linden Ponds neighbors to teach children at Cole School about nature. She’s a member of the resident-run finance and environmental committees, and she also sings in the Linden Ponds choir.

“We’re in the midst of a [practicing for a] show,” she says. “We just had a dress rehearsal yesterday, and we have two more performances next week.”