By Nikki Ross and Shelby Gardiner| firstname.lastname@example.org
A man and a woman meet. It starts out casual, but pretty soon it happens: they fall for each other.
There’s just one problem.
He lives on the other side of the world.
This kind of thing happens to college students everywhere, from Colorado to Florida.
International students abound at Flagler College. There are 52 of them from 31 nation – and that’s just the 2015 freshman class.
It’s only natural that people meet each other and long-distance relationships often follow.
Bailey Evers and Carlo Pasquali figured out how to make their long-distance relationship work. Some of their friends wondered how they did it, how their relationship flourished despite the more than 5,000 miles between them.
The two young students decided to let everyone know their secret, via YouTube.
Pasquali goes to medical school in Italy while Evers attends film school in Colorado.
“It is always hard honestly not being able to really talk or touch each other,” said Pasquali.
When the two visit one another they make videos of their times together and answer questions about how they deal with their long distance relationship.
“Our friends would always ask us so many questions so we thought it would be cute to just answer in a video,” said Evers. “I posted it to YouTube and we got a lot of subscribers from it.”
People began to message them about their relationship video.
“People were messaging us saying we’re their inspiration and that we should post more videos so we did,” said Evers.
Right now their YouTube channel, Carlo and Bailey, has 9,959 subscribers. Their most popular video, Italy-American Long Distance Relationship Q&A, has 314,911 views.
“I do feel a sense of duty now to our fans to make videos but the moment it becomes stressful or not fun I won’t do it anymore,” said Evers.
YouTube is a great way to reach people. It reaches more viewers aged 18 to 49 than any cable network in the U.S.
The number of hours people spend watching videos on YouTube is up 60 percent. Videos can be viewed in up to 76 languages.
In 2016, it seems, few people want to sit down and read a newspaper or book. They want to see videos and action.
Evers and Pasquali have been making YouTube videos since the summer of 2013.
“I never thought in a million years that we would ever date,” Evers said. “All I wanted was to be his friend and that would have been enough for me.”
The two met when Pasquali came to Brighton, Colorado and attended Brighton High School in 2012 as part of a foreign exchange program.
“I had such a good experience and I made it a good experience and in my opinion it is a must do if people get the chance,” said Pasquali.
Evers and Pasquali both were a part of the drama department. She was an actor and he was a techie, someone who builds the sets.
“I was in drama as a techie after the tennis season at BHS and she was the first girl to come to me and say hi, unluckily she was also completely my type of girl in every aspect and I wasn’t looking for a girlfriend while I was there,” said Pasquali.
“In my brain he was 1,000 times out of my league. He was this hot Italian kid who was going to be a doctor when he grows up and I was a dorky red head girl who never shut her mouth,” said Evers.
Evers had seen Pasquali around school and when he come into the drama hall during a play rehearsal she immediately ran up to him and introduced herself.
“Then rumors started floating around that he had a crush on me and I couldn’t believe it. I literally didn’t. I thought it was fake. I thought someone was pulling a cruel prank on me! Then our mutual friend confirmed it and I just fell on the floor. Literally,” said Evers.
The two worked on the play together, and that was how they got to know each other better.
“I remember we were painting the set for the play and I got paint on his shirt and I was mortified but he thought it was cute,” said Evers.
They spent three weeks together before becoming an item.
“All I know is that I was spending more and more time with her and one night before going home I asked her out,” said Pasquali.
“When he went to ask me out he didn’t know the translation for how to ask someone to be their girlfriend? It was so funny and cute,” said Evers. “Of course I said yes, and the rest is history.”
Since asking Evers to be his girlfriend, his English has improved.
“He was already pretty good. There are just little things that I always have to remind him of,” said Evers. “There are some things I feel like he will never remember.”
During Pasquali’s stay in Colorado the two were just another normal American high school couple. They went to the movies, to the park, went out to dinner and lunch, they attended parties and hung out with friends.
“We were both stuck in a small town and had limited things to do. The only special thing is that for him everything was amazing and special and different,” said Evers. “All throughout prom he was talking about how he felt like he was in a movie. He loved every part of the U.S. and our lifestyle and it definitely made me appreciate it more.”
During the last month of Pasquali’s exchange program the fate of his and Evers relationship was unclear.
“At this point I was really really in love with him, but I didn’t think he loved me enough to want to stay with me even if we were 5,000 miles away,” said Evers.
Evers got up the courage to ask Pasquali what he wanted to do.
Did he want to break up?
Or did he want to stay together?
“One afternoon, at least for me, became clear that it wasn’t an option breaking up anymore because of the feelings I had for her,” said Pasquali.
“Carlo kind of froze like he hadn’t even considered it,” said Evers. “That surprised me because it had been on my mind since almost day one.”
Evers said that they took a day to think it over and Pasquali was the one to text her and say that he didn’t want them to break up.
This is how they came to be 5,426 miles apart, but still very much together.
“The night before he left I remember standing at my car with him and I remember it was warm and nice,” said Evers. “I remember crying, but it was like… a bittersweet cry. It wasn’t like.. a terrible tragic kind of cry.”
Evers said she wasn’t worried about their relationship but she was sad that they were going to be out of each other’s day-to-day lives for a while.
“When I got in my car to drive away, I didn’t say goodbye. I said ‘See you later’ because goodbye was way too sad,” said Evers.
“It was bittersweet but it was definitely hard leaving and being back here in Italy for good,” said Pasquali, “The year immediately after was hard.”
Evers’ dad and Pasquali’s parents are very supportive of their relationship. Evers dad bought her first plane ticket to Italy after she turned 18.
“I don’t think either of our parents believed it would last as long as it has, mostly because of our age and distance,” said Evers. “It’s only been until recently that my dad has been critical of our relationship because it’s getting to the point where I’m going to move there. No one expected it to be this serious.”
Evers is going to be moving in with Pasquali and his parents on June 20.
According to Bailey, most Italian college kids live with their parents because the cost of living is too high and they don’t have time to get jobs because they are too busy studying.
“It’s a different lifestyle,” said Evers.
Evers is just now starting to seriously learn Italian since she will be moving there, however, many Italians speak English.
“English is treated as a universal language here. You basically have to learn it,” said Evers.
Pasquali says he’s happy that Evers is going to be moving there to be with him.
“I am really happy it was something planned a long time ago and it is finally happening,” said Pasquali. “It’ll be our relationship but without the ocean in the middle.”
While Evers and Pasquali are apart they talk on Facebook when they are both awake and Skype whenever they get the chance.
“We have eight hours of time change in between so even Skype is difficult sometimes,” said Pasquali, “but it’s always so nice when I do get to talk to her.”
Whenever they are apart the time difference and lack of constant communication can take its toll.
“It all boils down to a lack of communication,” said Evers. “We both get swept up into our own lives and didn’t even realize it until it was too late and the distance we felt was like a big brick wall.”
Evers says there were only two times where things got really bad.
“It felt like we weren’t even dating. Thankfully we always get back on track,” said Evers. “It’s like a wakeup call.”
They realize that they are off track and they figure out what they are doing wrong and fix it.
Evers and Pasquali say that they are like a normal couple, they still get into lover’s quarrels and they can get on each other’s nerves but at the end of the day they love one another and are willing to put in the time and effort to make it work.
“The only difference between us and others is that we’re not physically together,” said Evers. “A lot of our fights even just happen because we’re apart and there’s miscommunication on a subject.”
When Pasquali finishes medical school he and Evers have decided that they will move back to the United States, and they’ll live in either Colorado or California.
By Nikki Ross and Shelby Gardiner| email@example.com