Adventurous octogenarian: Carmel’s Marie Albertson shares stories of travels, life lessons in books

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By Mark Ambrogi

Marie Albertson has taken a flying lesson, driven a Lamborghini, jumped out of a plane, rode a camel in Morocco and gone on an African safari.

All of those adventures came after the age of 70.

The quest for adventures started when the 83-year-old Carmel resident began kayaking at age 65 and started taking trips in the west.

“I met some women on kayaking trips. They had been around the world, and I thought ‘Why aren’t I doing that?’” Albertson said. “I came back and my goal was to visit all the continents, which I’ve done now except Antarctica. That’s a little out of my price range. I have been to Africa three times.”

Albertson, whose husband died 19 years ago after a battle with Parkinson’s disease, has taken all of these trips by herself. She is quick to note that she has made friends in the travel groups.

Albertson’s second book, “Fifty Shades of Grey Humor: Laughing All the Way” was published by Dog Ear Publishing in March 2016.

“I just want people to laugh and enjoy life,” Albertson said. “It’s little anecdotes about getting older and finding humor in life, no matter how old you are.”

Her first book, “Old Librarians Never Die, They Jump Out of Airplanes” was released in 2012.

“I encourage older women to do what they really want to do,” Albertson said. “Don’t be afraid to travel alone, which I’ve done around the world. That’s my focus for women in their 60s and on up. If there is something you’ve always wanted to do, do it. I want to motivate and encourage them.”

Albertson uses her example to prove one is never too old to achieve goals.

“I’m late in life in everything,” Albertson said. “I didn’t start college until I was 47. I got a master’s degree (in library science) at age 60. I just kept going.”

Albertson, who was assistant director at the library in Plymouth, decided to move to Indianapolis without a job at 63. It worked out, as she got a job at the Indiana State Library in Indianapolis for seven years before retiring at 70. She then got an associate’s degree in counseling from Ivy Tech.

Albertson has raised her grandson, Charles Albertson Jr., now 21, since he was three years old. Her son, Charles Sr., now lives with his mother and son, as well.

“We’ve had an interesting journey,” Albertson said. “You do what God gives you. Challenges come up but you meet those challenges. I want women to know they are strong enough to meet those challenges, especially my generation that depended mostly on men.”

Frequently, Albertson speaks to women’s groups and has spoken to librarian conventions in San Francisco and Phoenix.

She has always wanted to visit Nepal but isn’t sure she wants to take that long of a trip.

“I didn’t travel for a little while, because I had cancer last year,” said Albertson, who has recovered from a developing melanoma on her neck. “Now I have traveling shoes back on.”

Her next traveling adventure is to visit England, Scotland and Wales.

Meet Marie Albertson

Personal: Lived in Plymouth for 40 years. Attended Ancilla College, a community college near Donaldson, for two years and then attended Indiana University-South Bend. Got master’s degree from IU-South Bend. Has four children, Charles, Carmel; Colette, Springfield, Ill.; Bob, Phoenix; Tamara, Indianapolis. Tamara owns Albertson’s Mortuary in Indianapolis. Has seven grandchildren.

Favorite experience: Going to Australia and kayaking in the Coral Sea. “It was so neat. That’s the first time I did tree surfing and we call it zip lining here.” The safari in Tanzania is a close second, Albertson said.

Indianapolis-area adventures: “I learned how to water board at Eagle Creek. I took a helicopter ride not too long ago. I took pole dancing lessons. Being a librarian, you’re very curious.”

Favorite area restaurants:  “My grandson (Charles) and I like Matt the Miller’s and Mitchell’s Fish Market. He’s interested in food, so we like to try different restaurants, and there are a lot of them.”

For speaking engagements: Contact mariealbertson@att.net.

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