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.