CIA Student Sees the World

Erica Murphy, CIA Graduate & Culinary Adventurer

Erica Murphy, CIA Graduate & Culinary Adventurer

Here, below, is a message I received from one of my former (brilliant) students, who went on a culinary adventure as a way to find her food job. I am awed by her courage and initiative to grasp life in both hands.  Her name is Erica Murphy.

“I sold all of my belongings, rented my townhouse in Colorado, left my job at a resort where I was working and went to Italy to volunteer on organic farms and vineyards with the Willing Workers On Organic Farms (WWOOF) organization. I spent 2011 and 2012 traveling and farming from the Alps to Sicily and everywhere in between.

Every three months I had to leave the country I was in as I had no visa. So I spent waiting time pulling pints of Guinness in Ireland, cooking in an organic cafe on the Beara Peninsula and then a few months in Turkey and the Balkan countries doing everything from holding conversational English classes to working at a hostel. It’s been quite the adventure!

I started a blog ( The goal of all of this travel, besides a wonderful experience, was to have a chance to really develop myself and learn the authentic regional culinary specialties of Italy while living with local families, and–to find my way into the culinary tourism industry in Italy.

The day I left (Nov 2, 2012), I was offered a position with a company in Puglia.”