August 17, 2022


  • Daria Sokol, a travel blogger from Ukraine, has been living in the United States since 2013.
  • Sokol said her first impressions of New York City could be compared to a “horror movie.”
  • But she said she found Americans more friendly than people in Ukraine.

Daria Sokol, a Ukrainian travel blogger who lives in New York City, told Insider that her “terrible first impression” of the city is very different from what she can imagine now.

Sokol, from Kharkiv, Ukraine, said she first moved to the United States in 2013, for a study abroad program in Washington, D.C. She saw her first glimpse of New York City when she flew to JFK and boarded a bus bound for the capital. Inside it was expected to be beautiful – like what I’ve seen in American movies – but some areas on the outskirts of the city were dirtier than she expected.

Undeterred, Sokol moved to New York in 2019.

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

She currently works as a technical account manager and publishes travel content for her 20000 followers on Instagram in her spare time.

She told the insider that she loves New York City now. You can’t imagine living anywhere else. And in May, she got married at the top of the rock because she wanted to be surrounded by the famous buildings in the city.

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

rocky wedding summit

Daria and Anton are married at the top of the rock with general admission tickets.


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Sokol said New York looked like a “horror movie” when she first arrived

Sokol told Insider that she was surprised by the bad weather and the amount of trash she saw on her bus ride from New York to D.C.

“It was like a horror movie,” Sokol said. “It was raining so hard, thunderstorms, it rained. The streets were so filthy, rubbish everywhere. It looked so bad.”

She remembers asking, “Where’s all the beauty of New York?”

Brooklyn Garbaby

People walk near a garbage heap in Brooklyn in 2017.

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Sokol is originally from Kharkiv, the second largest city in Ukraine which is famous for its commitment to sustainability. Before the Russian invasion of Ukraine the city Join the EBRD Green Cities Initiative, which was set up to allow European cities to address environmental needs, such as solid waste management, according to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The city has a population of about 1.5 million.

Sokol said she returned to New York City the following year, and with each visit, she admits that seeing new places and gaining more experiences, like her favorite spot, Central Park, made New York City grow on her. I finally decided to move to the city.

According to Sokol, people in the United States are much friendlier than they are in Ukraine

Sokol said one of the things she loves about the United States is the friendly people.

“People smile more,” she said, comparing Americans to Ukrainians. When you walk down the street in the United States and smile at someone, about 90 percent of the time they smile. In Ukraine, the ratio is not good. ”

She added that there is a culture of encouragement and positivity in the United States that is not common in other countries. So much so, that she said she found it difficult to accept the compliments of strangers at first.

Daria and Anton

Daria and her husband Anton are in New York City.


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“I was walking down the street, and the lady was saying, ‘Oh, I love your shoes, they are so beautiful,'” Sokol said. “And in Ukraine, no one will tell you that.”

“Now I really love this culture of cheerleading,” she added. “There is more positivity compared to some countries.”





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