This couple might be known to some of you, they share a wonderful YouTube channel, Carlo and Bailey, where they document their highs and lows in a relationship that spans the Atlantic Ocean and takes us from the mountains of Colorado to the mountains of Torino.
Where are you from and where is your significant other from?
I’m from the United States! More specifically Denver, Colorado. It’s a really wonderful place by the mountains, full of the nicest people and the most beautiful nature. But even then it’s not nearly as wonderful as where my boyfriend is from! He’s from the northern part of Italy in a city called Turin. Which is coincidentally also by mountains! I don’t think I’ll ever live in a place that doesn’t have a beautiful mountainous skyline.
Where and when did you meet your significant other?
I met Carlo in the USA when he was on his exchange trip. He was thankfully placed at my school! One day I walked into after-school drama and he was there. I went right up and introduced myself! I’m not a shy girl, and I love meeting new people… so it wasn’t even a question if he would become my friend or not. I just never would have thought we would have fallen in love and gone on this crazy journey.
Who made the first move?
Surprisingly, he did! I guess if the first move could be considered asking me out… but it was really cute because he didn’t know exactly how to put the words together in English. I had to help him out with the phrase “will you go out with me?” It was soooo cute. I’m still smiling.
Where did you think he was from?
Oh my gosh, I knew he was Italian from the first moment I saw him walking in the hallways. He had these beautiful thick eyebrows and this amazing olive-toned skin and the characteristic Italian nose. Mostly I knew though because he was wearing shorts that ended above his knees. Boys in my high school and boys in the US would basically never wear something so short. I had also heard from my friend that there was an Italian boy that year, so I put two and two together. It was super obvious!
What was your first impression of him?
That he was the sweetest, cutest, and most special boy I had ever met. He was really funny in his own special way. Also, I thought he could have been gay. I actually just assumed it because he takes care of himself really well and he felt sort of effeminate to me. I feel bad now, but when all you’ve been accustomed to all your life are messy and unpresentable straight men…. you get used to it. It’s gross. Almost all American men in my experience are afraid to put effort into their appearance.
It’s like that song from Legally Blonde “Gay or European?” It’s sooo true! If you haven’t heard it yet, look it up! You’ll have a laugh, especially if you’re dating a European boy.
(I've included a clip of the musical that Bailey mentioned below where you can watch the number "Gay or European"! It was actually the first time I'd heard it as well, absolutely fantastic!)
Okay, so we were backstage during the play I was in, and I had to go on stage really soon…. it had been a week since we started dating and the anxiety of our first kiss was really getting to me. So I just leaned in, smooched him and RAN! Apparently he stood there for a long time, trying to understand why I did it so fast and then ran away. I kind of feel bad, but the tension was killing me! We’ve had better kisses since then.
Where do you live now?
I still live in Denver, and he still lives in Turin. As I’m writing this we’re exploring options of me going to school in Turin, but nothing is certain. I would love to live there, but there are a lot of things standing in my way… such as money issues, the bureaucratic stuff, making sure that the school will even accept the academic credits from my previous schools.
Have you learnt each other’s languages?
Carlo is fluent in English, but unfortunately I barely understand Italian. I don’t have a lot of excuses. I know a lot of people would be able to speak after so many months spent visiting. I’ve only taken two classes because in Denver they’re really expensive, and I’m still just a poor college student.
I plan on learning, but I’m not sure how. I fear sometimes that I’m too late… that I waited too long and I’ll never learn. I won’t give up though! I’ve been looking into doing an immersive language course in Florence or another city (there are none in Turin), and I think it would really help me!
Any advice to “mixed” culture couples or couples doing long-distance?
To those in a mixed culture relationship I advise you to do some research on your significant other’s country. Specifically what is considered acceptable and what is considered “rude” in the other’s culture. It will save you a lot of strife. I’m a very casual, informal person and being thrust into the formal and careful world of Italy has been a bumpy road. Adapt to their lifestyle, including diet, how you speak, and how you present yourself. But mostly, keep an open mind! It’s really easy to close yourself up in a shell where you try to stay exactly the same because “this is how we do it in my country,” but one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned is that there is nothing wrong with letting another culture shape and form you into someone new. Most of time it’s someone better than who you used to be.
As for the distance, it’s okay if you don’t have immediate access to the end. Maybe you both have to finish school. Maybe someone has to tie up some loose ends before they can pack up and move or settle down. There’s nothing wrong with focusing on yourself before uprooting your life. Carlo and I have been long distance for almost 5 years, but we’re still going strong. Just visit as often as you can, and if it's possible, switch off the financial burden of plane tickets from visit to visit!
Submitted by Bailey.
Here's how you can connect with Bailey and Carlo:
Vi auguro tante belle cose. xoxo
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