Phoenix – Yulia Tokanina, Travel Lover from Russia

Tell us about yourself – who are you and what would be the short story of your life?

My name is Yulia Tokanina. I am originally from Russia and I moved to the USA 6 years ago. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison with majors in International Relations and French. Moving to the USA was the beginning of different chapter in my life. I had to adjust to American culture and lifestyle. I moved to Phoenix one and a half years ago and I really like it here. I work for European travel company, that specializes in organizing tours for Europeans.

Why do you do the work you do – is that your passion or like most of the people it just happened?? What would you ideal job if you could do ANYTHING???

I do the work I do because it is definitely my passion. I had a chance to travel abroad and I plan to travel more in the future. Since I was a child I’ve been fascinated by other cultures and traditions. I enjoy meeting people from different countries and learn more about them. I believe that my job is perfect for me in terms of using my foreign language skills, communicating with Europeans, making sure they have a great time exploring the USA.

If someone asked you what I should NOT miss while in Phoenix/Arizona, what would reply? And what I really SHOULD miss….

Well…I should not miss sunny and hot days while in Phoenix! I really should miss snow but I don’t

What do you miss most from your country ..…in addition to the family and friends?

Russian food! It is so delicious!

When you think about misconceptions we all have about cities/people/countries – what do you think you misjudged about USA/Arizona and what is what people usually misjudge about Russia?

I think a lot of times people tend to judge others coming from other country/ culture by stereotypes, which is wrong. People are different in general, no matter what country they come from, in my opinion. So, I guess it is important to learn to accept the differences especially when you live in the county, which is a “melting pot”.

What do you like doing in your free time??

In my free time, I like exercising, swimming, going out to different restaurants, traveling, watching movies, visiting art galleries/ museums, hiking.

What do you think about the cost of living in Russia vs Phoenix– and the standard of life and life style?

Well, it is difficult to compare cost of living in Russia and Phoenix. It depends on lifestyle, I guess. For example, Moscow is the most expensive city in Russia. It offers a lot of opportunities for young people to have a career and a nice social life, but cost of living there is probably comparable to New York.

If you could change something about Phoenix– what would it be?

I think Phoenix is a great southern city with unique nature and charm. In my opinion, it needs more culture, social events, festivals that would attract people, making it easier to make new friends.

Connect with Yulia:

Yulia at Facebook