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
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.”
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
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