I thought I could drown my sorrows…but my sorrows learn’t to swim. Bono

Ponte Vecchio and bank of Arno in Florence, It...

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I first heard this quote in 2001 whilst sitting in a Backpackers hostel in Florence, Italy.  I was drinking nasty, cheap wine, whilst battling feelings of missing my boyfriend at the time, wondering why he hadn’t emailed me yet, and stressing because I was really enjoying my freedom. And so I sat, pouring my thoughts into my travel journal, hoping that I could write or drink away my moods.

At that moment that one of the mates walked in on me (I had been backpacking with 2 friends). In seeing me sitting there, and being a tad tipsy himself, he quoted Bono to me:

‘I thought I could drown my sorrows…but my sorrows learn’t to swim’.

He had thought it was a relative quote for the moment. And it was – to the way all of us were feeling at that specific time in our journey. At the time we were all on a real downer for one reason or another, were physically and mentally exhausted, had been over-thinking and dwelling of silly stuff, and were really hanging onto some anti-social moods (this is according to what I wrote in my journal).

It was in that moment that I realised how similar we all were. This thought carried through to the next day when Nigel and I realised that the result of trying to drown ones sorrows with cheap wine – that I’m presuming only poor backpackers drank whilst in Italy – was the feeling of self-pity and a very sore head.


14 thoughts on “I thought I could drown my sorrows…but my sorrows learn’t to swim. Bono

  1. What a great quote to share Janine! And you did bring up a good point…We’re all the same when it comes to sorrow…However, I do tend to drown it in food and sappy songs…hehehe…

  2. Great quote Janine, I tend to drown my sorrows in chocolate. My sorrows luckily seem to come with inflatable vests and after a little while even when I want to wallow they float to the surface and away.

  3. Great how you gave a humorous twist to what might have been a sad post. Interesting how it would happen to all of you in mid-trip. Maybe you were just homesick.

    Wish that quote had been around when I was drowning my sorrows, but instead, my sorrows were drowning me until that one little ray of hope floated my way, and I clung onto it until I made it to a safe haven.

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