During the month I am in San Pancho, MX, I will post periodically about travel and getting older. Not that 72 years old is terribly old, but I do notice some differences compared to having traveled at younger ages.
I will not complain or lament the difficulties and changes, but I believe that being aware of the changes helps deal with them and provide for future travel adventures.
First of all, I find it very difficult to "distill my entire life into a suitcase." Even when I bring well chosen, multi use, layered clothing (and not too many pairs of underwear, sox, etc,) there are so anythings that one might need on a moments notice: like a heating pad, my knee brace, and medications for whatever possible.
Yes many of the medications, for example, can be purchased at the location of arrival but for example, if in Mexico and Montezuma suddenly retaliates with his "revenge" getting to the Pharmacy will be difficult when one is wrapped around the toilet.
Also, as one gets older, more prescription medicines are necessary and especially when traveling outside the country you are instructed to bring them in the original bottles and to keep them in your carry on luggage, not in checked baggage.
My sound bite to discuss the suitcase/packing situation: "The older you get, the more you need to pack, and the less you can lift!"
The good part, I guess, is that I look my age, so often people asked if they could help me. The bus drive from the airport to the car rental place helped me get my suitcase on the bus. At the other end, a burley passenger offered to help me get them off the bus.
At the hotel in Fort Worth, an employee coming to work through the parking lot helped me take the luggage out of the rental car and sure enough, another one was passing through when I was leaving the hotel and helped me put the luggage back in. Again at the rental bus, people offered to help.
Getting onto the airplane was easy on the skybridge in Fort Worth, but after landing on the tarmac in Puerto Villarta, we had to walk down outside stairs and once again I was saved by the couple sitting next to me who grabbed my carry ons and took them down the stairs.
Even with careful packing, I was lugging around some 80 lbs of stuff and the difficult of that made me feel even older, dependent, and less able to take care of myself.
As I said, "The older you get, the more you need to pack, and the less you can lift!"