Sue’s Grand Plan

 Live in Italy and Do Fun Stuff

The Grand Plan / Vague Direction has so far been going reasonably to plan though it is ever flexible… Previous plan items were to learn Italian, travel Italy a bit, buy a house, teach English and do something fun to make money. How did they go? Well, I’ve there is always space to improve my Italian and now local dialect as I’ve moved to an area where I simply don’t understand anyone if they’re talking amongst each other! I’d love to travel more and hoping to explore Sicily and Puglia this year. I bought a house in Sarnano early last year and that’s been an interesting experience. I did teach English at some local schools but it’s not for me! I also set up a little “Conero Crafts” business, though it has taken a backseat given I’m not so close to Monte Conero now.

So the Grand Plan for 2015 is to:

  • Travel Italy – hopefully Sicily and Puglia.
  • Do up the house – I’m going through somewhat of an unmotivated phase with the DIY but we need to get on with things in order to….
    • Rent out rooms. I could rent out a couple of rooms at a time using something like the website.
    • Offer “creative breaks”.
    • Guidance / support for those moving to Italy.
  • Finish my novel  – I started last year and now need to shape it into something I wouldn’t be embarrassed if someone else read.
  • Make some “frivolity money” – I want to make a bit of extra cash to do fun stuff with. As it is, I feel a bit guilty going on holiday anywhere nice at the moment!

That about sums it up. Ever the Project Manager, I have a detailed spreadsheet outlining about 40 other things to be getting on with! And with that in mind, I better get on with it…


14 thoughts on “Sue’s Grand Plan

  1. Hi Sue! Love your plan – you’re brave for wanting to get a car in Italy. You couldn’t pay me to drive in Italy! Anyways, I found your blog through the Expat Blog Awards. I’ve enjoyed reading a few your posts here and I’m looking forward to reading more. I’m living and teaching in Bologna, Italy and I also have a blog (
    Good luck!

    • Hi Sarah,

      Yes I read your article and thought it was great! I had plans to go to Bologna anyway so I’m definitely keen to go now 🙂 Not too far away either. Ex pats feel few and far between in this part of Italy and it sounds like you’re doing a similar thing to me so good to find you! I’ve signed up to your blog 🙂 Hope you had a buon natale!

  2. Hi Sue!!

    I’m an american girl living in milan, have been here for a couple years now. I randomly found your blog today and it’s hilarous and amazing because you understand some of what i’m dealing with! Anyway I’d love to make your acquaintance. I just signed up for the email delivery of your blog. Maybe we can connect on fb?

    Take Care,

    • Ooo lovely to hear from you! I never used to understand why ex pats seem to clump together but now i get it – it’s so nice to vent about things and share experiences with people having exactly the same issues! If you’ve signed up to the blog then I’ll have your email address and will send you an email to connect up 🙂

  3. Just discovered your blog today Sue. All the best with living in Italy. I’m interested to see how your progress with all your aims 🙂

    • Thanks for your nice comment Cathy! I should probably review the Grand Plan actually, it’s been a while since it’s been updated and things have a way of going off track! 🙂

  4. Hilary Rayner

    I came across your blog Sue and I loved to see that you have escaped the rat race and found a place to call home, and what a beautiful place it is too. I expected to see a Microsoft project plan embedded in your blog, but I am glad to see it is just a list. Italy is such a beautiful country, once you have those rooms sorted we may just pop buy and rent one and you can show us around. Love the photos and totally understand having expat friends. Have fun

    • Hilary! Aw, glad you had a look 🙂 What are you up to these days? I have vague suspicions you’ve gone and upsticked yourself to NZ? Ha, I did have a project plan and a very indepth spreadsheet 😉 As long as you’re not expecting anything glamorous, happy to have you guys stay now ! Lovely to hear from you 🙂 x

  5. Hilary Rayner

    Happily living in New Zealand, been here eight years now (blimey where did the time go). Returned to nursing which I love, have a great life work balance. Spend my spare time paddle boarding with friends on the sea, involved with different charities and Eco voluntary work with the local zoo. So very different to my life back in London and I have no regrets. Would hate to go back to project plans 😉
    Sounds like you also have an idyllic life. I take my hat off to you with you learning a new language, it is often difficult enough moving to a new country, we were not that brave.
    We will definitely keep you in mind next time we travel back to the UK, but it may be a few years off, as my partner is currently back at Uni and is a full time student.
    Take care and I look forward to keeping up with your blog and beautiful photographs.
    Hils x

  6. (I’m Italian, so apologise me for my english.)
    I like your plans, especially for the optimism you seem to have (I mean, it’s a good thing)! I have just discovered your blog, but it will be a pleasure to follow you in this adventure here in Italy.

    Ps: you should come in Torino, Piemonte 😉

  7. June Johnson

    Hi, I live in the US and have been to Italy numerous times. I have been retired for 10 years and have friends in the San Benedetto area. I love Italy and have attempted to learn the language from afar. I think being immersed is the only way to go for language improvement.
    I have considered living there for a period of time but don’t know if I could afford it. Just found out about your blog from an expat friend whom I met while in Italy. I love what you’ve posted and plan to continue to follow you.
    Best !

    • Hi June, thanks for your comment! I’m pleased you’re learning the language! It’s a great sense of satisfaction having a conversation in another language. Having never had a head for languages, it feels a bit like conversing in a secret code!!! You’re right, it’s easier to learn when you’re immersed but you know, the thing that’s helped me probably the most is to have language swap buddies… an Italian that wants to learn English and then because you both want to improve, you correct each other. Otherwise, yes, you’re immersed with Italians but they NEVER correct you so yeah, you become more fluent but you become fluent in Italian riddled with mistakes! There’s a few language swap websites out there which you might have luck with. San Benedetto is lovely isn’t it? The riviera delle palme or something it’s called. I must go back! Meanwhile thanks for the nice comment and let me know how you get on with the language learning! A presto, Sue

  8. Richard Devost

    Hi Sue, I am in the beginning stages of moving to Sarnano from Canada. I have located a home for sale and I am currently in the process of flying to see it. I just wanted to say thank you for your blog as it was nice to read an honest piece not influenced by the travel industry. It’s a big move and to be perfectly honest at times is scares the hell out of me but your blog has answered many of the simplest questions making the decision to move that much easier.

    Thank you

    • Hi Richard! So sorry about the delayed response – I don’t get them come into my inbox for some reason! Anyway, thank you so much for the lovely comments. How was the trip? Hope you had some success with it. I adore Sarnano! It’s such a lovely little town with great people and lots of fun traditions and festas. If I can help at all let me know! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: