For many people, turning 30 years old is a significant milestone. To some, it marks the end of youth, while others see it as the beginning of mature adulthood. Paris-based photographer Stephane Domingues, who turned 30 himself in December 2013, regards the 30s as a time to be assertive and confident after a period of self-discovery in your 20s. Curious about what other 30-year-olds thought of the big 3-0, Domingues packed his bags and embarked on a round-the-world trip to document the faces and words of 30-year-olds across the globe.
His ongoing project, titled BEING 30 YO, captures slices of life through the eyes of people who have accomplished the feat of living three decades on this earth. Through portraits and in-depth interviews, Domingues offers a global perspective on what it means to be 30. His diverse subjects, who hail from a variety of places from Budapest to So Paulo, come from all walks of life. Some have children, some live alone, some feel old, some feel young. No matter their background, however, it’s reassuring to find that most of them have embraced turning 30 as the next chapter of leading a meaningful, fulfilling life.
Maceo. Entrepreneur. Los Angeles, USA.
“They say that in your 30s you settle in your identity, and I feel that’s very much true…”
Anne. Consultant. Paris, France.
“I am 30, I don’t feel old, I am young at heart… That’s what really matters!”
Beatrice. Entrepreneur. Likoma Island, Malawi.
“I am oId…because 30 is a lot of years…I have 3 chidren already, the oldest is 11. That is almost as if the next generation was already there… It seems like my life is already settled and won’t deviate much from what it is now in the future.”
Kevin. Software developer. Cape Town, South Africa.
“I don’t feel old, just more experienced and that’s really a good thing!”
Faruk. Fisherman. Ilha do Mozambique, Mozambique.
“My best memory will be ‘right now!’ Why? Because I am able to have a better job and income than ever before.”
Stefanie. Actor, writer, model. New York, United States.
“I don’t really care about being 30, I am confident enough to just not care.”
Oscar. Miner. Potosi, Bolivia.
“Turning 30 did not change much in life. I got my first children quite early (21 yo) and all responsibilities came at that time…”
Janice. Marketing consultant. So Paulo, Brazil.
“I have a lot to do in a really short time… Travel as much as possible, get married, and have children, and write a book… I need dreams to be happy!”
Sindani. Housewife. Masai Village, Tanzania.
“Even if life is quite tough, I wouldn’t change anything. We have the basics: a home and water.”
Zoltan. Project manager. Budapest, Hungary.
“Within 10 years, I want to accomplish travels such as visiting Mayan ruins. Basically, I want to fill my mind with memories… I will be able in 10 years, to tell stories about my travels, how fun they were.”
Magdalena. Tourism marketing/logistics. Puerto Tranquilo, Chile.
“The only thing that changed is that, when someone asks my age, I try to avoid saying it.”