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Are You Doing Something Worth Dying For?

Are You Doing Something Worth Dying For?

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Everybody talks about living a life worth living. And while I wholeheartedly agree with that sentiment, it lacks a certain depth.

What is a life worth living? What fuels it? A life worth living could be cuddling with your loved one every night of the week, nurturing your child, working at a homeless shelter, raising money for charity, or spreading smiles within your community. Whatever fulfills a person gives their life meaning and makes it a life worth living.

But what is a life worth DYING for?

4000 Islands, Laos
4000 Islands, Laos.

The concept of finding something to be passionate about is something that I believe gets lost in the shuffle of daily life. A large majority of the world’s population live their lives in a cubicle or simply going through the motions that make one day turn into the next. Where is the profundity in that?

Martin Luther King, Jr. lived a life worth dying for. He found something he believed in, made it his life’s mission, and quite literally, died for it.

Mortality is not something that we often think about. Our brains are programmed to avoid this concept. We don’t want to die. We are afraid of it.

We are afraid of dying because most people have never done anything actually worth dying for.

Northland, New Zealand
Northland, New Zealand.

I don’t mean to harp on about the weighted questions about the purpose of life, but they’re relevant. This new way of framing things, when adding the prospect of death into the equation, introduces severity. We have a timeframe. There is a scale by which to rate the quality of one’s life, and very limited time to make it worthwhile.

What are we doing in life that is worth dying for?

My daily job is not worth dying for. I love what I do, working as a blogger and cocktail bartender in countries around the world. I inspire people (hopefully) to live out their dreams of travel and improve their lives by seeing and experiencing the world. I spread messages about responsible tourism; I believe in them strongly, and they are communications that I wish to continue. But would I die for them?

Nope. I wouldn’t.

Lijiang, China
Lijiang, China.

So what is worth dying for, then? What gives our lives so much depth and meaning that actually dying in the process would have still made our time here worthwhile?

I travel. I find excitement in new places, meeting new people, discovering new foods and exploring new cultures and ways of life. Without these things, my life is plain. This is what I am passionate about and it’s what gives my life purpose and depth. I yearn for global understanding. I spread positive energy, create meaningful connections with strangers, and do small acts of kindness every single day to make the world (and not only the world around me, but the whole world) a better place. And in doing so, I make MY world and MY life a better place to be.

But would I die for that?

Sapa, Vietnam
Sapa, Vietnam.


I have never found anything that could introduce so many layers into my life. Travel, as a whole, has shaped me into a passionate, excitable, positive person. I have found something that brings complexity and sapience to my life, and in a way that makes it more than a life worth living. It is a life worth dying for.

Should my heart stop on the streets of Hong Kong, dancing salsa in Puerto Rico or hiking in the tropics of Africa, I would have died knowing that everything in my life, up until that point, was all worth it.

So my question to you, dear friend, is this: What are you doing that’s worth dying for?

READ NEXT: How Traveling the World for Four Years Will Change You

Jeremy Scott Foster
Jeremy Scott Foster
Jeremy Scott Foster is an adventure-junkie, gear expert and travel photographer based in Southern California. Previously nomadic, he’s been to ~50 countries and loves spending time outdoors. You can usually find him on the trail, on the road, jumping from bridges or hustling on his laptop working to produce the best travel and outdoors content today.

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22 Responses

  1. I’m working at a 9 to 5 job which I don’t enjoy, however, it is a job worth dying for, because it allows me to feed my child, which he is worth dying for.

  2. I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately. Not just about being happy with what I do, but about making a difference and leading a life that matters. I’m aware of the urgency, of the fact that every day could be the last and yet I often still get carried away by the daily tasks that keep my life going, but might not really add something to it.

    1. But, in contrast, not every day can be immensely rewarding and fulfilling. Part of life is that, sometimes, it’s boring. Having an overarching purpose is what makes life worth living, or dying for.

  3. Well written Jeremy! Whether it’s travelling or anything else, the most important thing is that one wakes up every day with the same passion and tries to make the world a better place. Very inspirational!

    1. Thanks, Kian. It doesn’t have to be traveling–it can be anything, as long as we are living passionately.

  4. This is extremely well written and wonderful food for thought! I certainly think travel and making a positive impact is worth dying for too. And for many currently stuck at a desk job they hate, it’s something to work towards (hopefully before dying!).

  5. Really great and inspiring post! Doing what you love and what makes you happy is the way to go! 🙂

  6. Your photos are gorgeous and I love your passion. I actually don’t believe in death, at all. I believe in learning how to heal ourselves and be … immortal. That said, nobody is going to get there going through the motions in a cubicle. So for me it’s not about dying for anything. It’s about living from our deepest values with passion. Which actually can be done from comfort of home. It’s the consciousness that matters. Cheers 🙂

  7. What a wonderful post, it really got me thinking, and yup I am doing this everyday that are worth dying for.

  8. Lovely post Jeremy. I think travel is definitely worth dying for. At least I would die doing something I love most.

    1. Thanks, Julia! It’s just a different way to frame what we already know. I hope you’re making it count!

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