Ukrainian woman living in US shares what surprised her

  • Daria Sokol, a travel blogger from Ukraine, has lived in the US since 2013.
  • Sokol said her first impression of New York City was like a “horror movie.”
  • But she said she found Americans to be friendlier than Ukrainians.

Daria Sokol, a Ukrainian travel blogger who lives in New York City, told Insider that her “horrible first impressions” of the city were very different from how she sees it now.

Sokol, who is from Kharkiv, Ukraine, said she first moved to the United States in 2013 to participate in a study abroad program in Washington, D.C. She got her first glimpse of New York City as she flew to JFK and took a bus to Washington, D.C. The 29-year-old told the insider that she had expected it to be beautiful — as she sees it in American movies — but some parts of the city’s suburbs were dirtier than she expected.

That didn’t stop her, and Sokol moved to New York in 2019.

A post shared by Daria in New York ❤️ (@daria.newyork)

She currently works as a technical account manager and publishes travel content for her 20,000 followers on Instagram in her spare time.

She told Insider that she loves New York right now. She couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. In May, she got married at Top of the Rock because she wanted to be surrounded by the city’s iconic buildings.

But along the way, she has had many surprises about life in America — and life in New York. Here are the most surprising things she said about living in America.

pinnacle of rock weddings

Daria and Anton got married at Top of the Rock with regular tickets.


Sokol says she looked like a ‘horror movie’ when she first arrived in New York

Sokol told Insider she was surprised by the bad weather and the amount of trash she witnessed on the bus trip from New York to Washington

“It’s like a horror movie,” Sokol said. “It’s raining heavily, thunderstorms, downpours. The streets are dirty, there’s rubbish everywhere. It looks bad.”

She said she remembers wondering: “Where are all the New York beauties?”

Brooklyn Fashion Show

People walk past a pile of trash in Brooklyn in 2017.

Epic/Getty Images)

Sokol is originally from Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, known for its commitment to sustainable development.Before Russia invaded Ukraine, the city Join the EBRD Green Cities InitiativeAccording to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the program was implemented to enable European cities to address environmental needs, such as solid waste management. The city has about 1.5 million inhabitants.

Sokol said she returned to New York City the following year, and every time she visits, she admits to seeing new places and having more experiences, such as her favorite place, Central Park, allowing New York City to grow on her. She finally decided to move to the city.

Americans are friendlier than Ukrainians, according to Sokol

Sokol said one of the things she likes about America is the friendly people.

“People laugh more,” she said, comparing Americans to Ukrainians. Walking down the street in America, you would smile at someone and they would smile back about 90% of the time. In Ukraine, the percentage is not so good. “

She added that the United States has a culture of encouragement and positivity that is not common in other countries. So much so that she said she had a hard time accepting compliments from strangers at first.

Daria and Anton

Daria and her husband Anton in New York.


“I’d walk down the street and a woman would say, ‘Oh, I love your shoes, they’re so pretty,'” Sokol said. “And in Ukraine, no one will tell you that.”

“Now I really like the culture of encouragement,” she added. “There is more positivity than in some countries.”

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