NEWS

This Is What Being 30 Looks Like Around The World

15/09/2017 2:29 AM IST

Turning 30 is no simple life event. The milestone often prompts all sorts of introspection: evaluating career goals, feeling pressure about finding love or comparing the person you are now to the one you thought you would be at 30.

Back in 2014, photographer Stephane Domingues and writer Anne Hangouet set out on a 16-month trip to photograph and interview people around age 30 from around the world. Though their lifestyles differed, each of the pair’s thirty-something subjects had something in common, Domingues said.

“I would say that the main similarity [between 30-year-olds] is the awareness of who you really are, the accomplishment of yourself,” he told HuffPost. “I think the main reason is that you already have completed your studies, worked for several years, developed some passions and maybe even built a family. All these experiences enable you to understand who you are and what you want in life better.”

Domingues and Hangouet added another subject to their series this summer, and they plan to interview more soon, Domingues told HuffPost. They catalog all the portraits on their website, Being 30, and include each subject’s name, occupation and personal quotes. 

Here’s what 30 looks ― and feels ― like in 10 countries.

  • Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
    Stephane Domingues/Being 30
  • Stephane Domingues/Being 30
    Name: Andualem
    Age: 32
    Occupation: Watchman and fisherman
    What's your favorite memory? "I was driving a group of German tourists throughout the South Omo Valley... They brought clothes for the kids in the tribes and gave them $80... This gesture of kindness really moved me."
  • Rajasthan, India
    Stephane Domingues/Being 30
  • Stephane Domingues/Being 30
    Name: Prerana
    Age: 32
    Occupation: Housewife
    What's your greatest achievement? "I am proud that my mother in law thinks I am a good daughter in law... And we share a very nice bond, which is not always the case. We talk and share our feelings a lot.
  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Stephane Domingues/Being 30
  • Stephane Domingues/Being 30
    Name: Leandro
    Age: 35
    Occupation: Creative retoucher
    Ten years ago, where did you think you'd be at 30? "In terms of personal life, like every teenager, I pictured myself as a married man with children [at 30]... Today, my life is quite different from what I pictured 10 years ago... I do have a girlfriend, but I am not married, and I do not have children."
  • Cape Town, South Africa
    Stephane Domingues/Being 30
  • Stephane Domingues/Being 30
    Name: Monique
    Age: 30
    Occupation: Baker
    What's been the most memorable event of your personal life? "When I got married in 2010, as we worked a lot on knowing each other and asking the right questions."
  • Auckland, New Zealand
    Stephane Domingues/Being 30
  • Stephane Domingues/Being 30
    Name: Anousith
    Age: 31
    Occupation: Entrepreneur and physiotherapist
    Where did you think you'd be living at 30? "I arrived in [New Zealand] when I was six, and I was told that I would spend my life here... I knew that coming from Laos, I was pretty lucky to be here and that it would be hard to leave [for] anywhere in the world because I would get a better lifestyle here."
  • Hiroshima, Japan
    Stephane Domingues/Being 30
  • Stephane Domingues/Being 30
    Name: Ami
    Age: 30
    Occupation: Banker
    What's been the most memorable event of your personal life? "My son’s birth was such a happy moment... And it really changed my life. After his birth, I was much more sensitive, very stressed and had much more responsibilities."
  • Budapest, Hungary
    Stephane Domingues/Being 30
  • Stephane Domingues/Being 30
    Name: Zoltan
    Age: 31
    Occupation: Project manager at a web developer company
    Now that you're 30, do you feel "old" or "still young"? "In my mind, I haven’t aged since my twenties. My friends and I grew up at the same time, we still experience the same kind of things. So we don’t see ourselves aging."
  • Puerto Tranquilo, Chile
    Stephane Domingues/Being 30
  • Stephane Domingues/Being 30
    Name: Magdalena
    Age: 31
    Occupation: Agronomy student
    How did you decide on this job? "As a child I wanted to be a veterinarian because I love animals. I don’t know why I did not study for it... because even today I would love to work with animals... Instead, I studied agronomy."
  • Paris, France
    Stephane Domingues/Being 30
  • Stephane Domingues/Being 30
    Name: Anne
    Age: 29
    Occupation: Consultant
    How do people change by the time they turn 30?: "I would say that you learn how to enjoy simple pleasures in life and stop having too high expectations. As a consequence, my priorities have changed: Work and money is less important than before, whereas quality of life and family is [becoming] more important. I feel like [I'm just beginning] to understand what happiness is."
  • Seoul, South Korea
    Stephane Domingues/Being 30
  • Stephane Domingues/Being 30
    Name: Jun Ho
    Age: 30
    Occupation: Product merchandiser
    What's been the most memorable event of your personal life? "The time I spent in the U.K. in 2013 really was a turning point in my life. I decided to take a career break, which is not really common in South Korea, and go to spend a year in the U.K. to learn English and volunteer in an organization that helps disabled people. It was an important experience because I felt free... I think it is the dream of [everyone's], to feel free without stress and concern."

See more of Domingues and Hangouet’s work on Being 30.

h/t Business Insider

Also on HuffPost
First Day Of School Around The World