I graduated (again) from Purdue University in 1992
and then had a research staff position for one year.
Just one year, as it was contingent on research funding.
A friend of mine had just bought a car from his sister. He had frequently worked on it, and knew that it was in decent condition. He told me that he wanted to try it out, and did I want to ride along?
— Yeah, where are you going?
— New Mexico!
So, I went to New Mexico for maybe two weeks in 1993.
I had returned three times to teach one-week classes at Sandia National Labs on the edge of Albuquerque — a Linux server course in 2000 and 2006, and a cybersecurity introduction / awareness course in 2004. But those were very much teaching trips — fly in over the weekend and spend the next day setting up the course, teach the course through late Friday afternoon, then fly out early Saturday morning.
It was 2023 and there would be an annular eclipse of the Sun in October. It was time for me to return to New Mexico and do a number of things before the eclipse, so one cloudy day wouldn't ruin the entire trip. That worked out well.