Around the World: What's It Like to Be 30?

Photographer Stephane Domingues traveled the world and talked to people about what it's like to turn 30 (or what they hope it will be like, if they're not quite thirty yet). Here are some of their answers. Tell us your stories, and add your suggestions!
  1. "I thought that at the age of 30, I would have three children and I would be a dedicated housewife. I cannot say things went as planned."
    Jibiek Ryskulova, 29, is a lawyer from Kyrgyzstan. When she was 21, her son was born with Down syndrome. Turning 30 means a lot to the young, divorced mother. "One thing is for sure, I truly want next year to be special and I hope that I will give birth to another child, even if I do not find another man with who I can start a family," she said.
  2. "Being 30 is about everything new: new city, new projects and new moments in life"
    Janice Mendes de Querrez, 31, is a marketing consultant from Brazil. Ten years ago, she thought she would be married with kids by the age of 25 and be on top of her career. Today, she says she feels younger than ever. She dreams about being on the cover of a magazine as business woman of the year and hopes to write a book.
  3. "At 30, I feel like I am trying to find the right balance in my life"
    Kornnatt Surapat is a 35-year-old former monk and yoga teacher from Bangkok who wants to live to the age of 120. "Thirty is a big number. Moving to adulthood, I needed a big change. I decided to become vegetarian," he said.
  4. "Even if life is quite tough, I wouldn't change anything. We have the basics: a home and water."
    Sindani Langanani Mollel, 32, is a mother of five from Emairete, a Maasai village in rural Tanzania. She got married at the age of 13 and says she now feels quite old.
  5. "The older I get, the freer I become. I don't really care about being 30, I am confident enough to just not care."
    Stefanie Grassley, a 33-year-old Mormon from Utah, bought a one-way ticket to New York City seven years ago. "I only wanted to get out. I always dreamed of being a sophisticated woman in NYC movies and series such as 'Friends' and 'Sex and the City'," she said. Stephanie managed to realize her dream of becoming a model.
  6. "They say that in your thirties, you settle in your identity. I feel like that is very much the truth"
    Maceo Paisley, is a 30-year-old entrepreneur from Los Angeles. Feeling like he had to give back to his country, Paisley joined the U.S. Army after 9/11. After serving in Iraq, he decided to change careers and move into art. He writes letters to himself every eight years to help him refocus on becoming the person he wants
  7. "I am proud that my mother-in-law thinks that I am a good daughter-in-law"
    Prerana Deora is a 32-year-old housewife from Jaipur, India, whose marriage was arranged by her parents. Passing the milestone birthday didn't mean much to her as she didn't have a plan for her twenties or thirties, she said. But Deora still feels young. "I really don't think that at 30, somebody can feel old!"
  8. My 20s were fun and adventurous, but searching and insecure. What I love most about my 30s is that I know who I am and who I love, what I'm good at, who my friends are, where I'm gonna live, and what's important. Plus, I have some $ finally. Can't wait 'til my 40s when I stop caring about what others expect of me, and my 50s when I get the respect!
    Suggested by   @bobbyhundreds
  9. Not 30 yet, but only as I've started to see it loom on the horizon have I really been able to sink my teeth into the struggle of realizing what it is I want my life to be. Everything started clicking into place so quickly - I almost felt like I had whiplash. Plus, 30 means my age will better reflect my professional status; I can't wait!!
    Suggested by   @saytrumbo