A Ukrainian woman who moved to New York shares the things that surprised her the most about her life in the United States | Local News

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Daria Sokol, left, left Ukraine for the United States in 2013.@tinasokolovskaya, donvictorio/Getty Images

  • Ukrainian travel blogger Daria Sokol has lived in the United States since 2013.

  • Sokol said his first impressions of New York City were comparable to a “horror movie”.

  • But she said she found Americans friendlier than Ukrainians.

Daria Sokol, a Ukrainian travel blogger who lives in New York, told Insider that her “awful first impression” of the city is very different from how she perceives it now.

Sokol, from Kharkiv, Ukraine, said she first moved to the United States in 2013, for a study abroad program in Washington, DC. Insider that she expected it to be beautiful — like what she’d seen in American movies — but that some areas on the outskirts of town were dirtier than she had anticipated.

This did not deter her and Sokol moved to New York in 2019.

She currently works as a Technical Account Manager and posts travel content for her 20,000 followers on Instagram in her spare time.

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

But she’s had plenty of surprises about American life — and life in New York City — along the way. Here’s what she said that surprised her the most about life in the United States.

rock top wedding

Daria and Anton got married at Top of the Rock with general admission tickets.@ivanshatokhin

Sokol said New York looked like ‘out of a horror movie’ when he arrived

Sokol told Insider that she was surprised by the bad weather and the amount of litter she witnessed on her bus trip from New York to DC.

“It was like a horror movie,” Sokol said. “It was very rainy, thunderstorms, pouring rain. The streets were so dirty, with garbage everywhere. It looked so bad.”

She said she remembers wondering, “Where’s all the beauty in New York?”

brooklyn garbabe

People walk past a pile of trash in Brooklyn in 2017.epics/Getty Images)

Sokol hails from Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, known for its commitment to sustainability. Prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the city joined the EBRD Green Cities initiative, which was set up to enable European cities to address environmental needs, such as solid waste management, according to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The city has about 1.5 million inhabitants.

Sokol said she returned to New York the following year, and with each visit she admits that seeing new places and having more experiences, like her favorite place, Central Park, made NYC grow. She finally decided to move to town.

People in the US are friendlier than in Ukraine, says Sokol

Sokol said one of the things she loves about America is the friendliness of the people.

“People are smiling more,” she said, comparing Americans to Ukrainians. Walk down the street in the United States and you smile at someone, about 90% of the time they smile back at you. In Ukraine, the percentage is not as good.”

She added that there is a culture of encouragement and positivity in the United States that is not as prevalent 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.@tinasokolovskaya

“I was walking down the street and a lady was like, ‘Oh, I love your shoes, they’re so pretty,” Sokol said. “And in Ukraine, nobody would ever tell you that.”

“Now I really like this culture of encouragement,” she added. “There is more positivity compared to certain countries.”

Read the original Insider article

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