World Tour Statistics

How do the mechanics of this long-term around-the-world travel thing work? How do I get from place to place, and where and how long do I stay once I get there? How many countries have I visited, and how much time have I spent in them? How many photographs have I taken and where did I take them? These are all things that can be catalogued, and I've been doing that as I go. On this page is the meaningful information condensed from that raw material. This might seem like a misapplication of time for a self-styled adventurer — statistical analysis being more or less the perfect opposite of adventure — but I do what I do.

All the information on this page is updated automatically every few hours. The first section is a summary of the numbers and some derived averages, and following are sections with more details on transport, accommodations, visit lengths and content broken down by country. All of the tables can be sorted by clicking the column headers. Also following are pie-charts with graphical representations of some of the data, because… well, because I can.

A big missing part of this report are the money-related numbers. Questions that I hear often are How much has your trip cost? or What was the most expensive country? I had originally planned to keep records of expenses and present them broken down by country and category on this page, as a resource for other travellers budgeting their trips. That part of the project went down in flames; accurate and useful record-keeping on the road proved impossible due to misadventure, the often frantic pace of travel, and the complications of foreign exchange. I know the total outlay only too well, but in the meantime I've come to think that it isn't actually anyone's business but mine how much money I've spent. So the number zealots will have to be satisfied with the rest of the stats.

First Day of the Trip May 7th, 2008
Last Day of the Trip May 9th, 2012
Trip Length 1,464 days (4 years and 2 days)
Trip Percent of My Life 10.767%
 
Number of Places Visited 367
Number of Countries 52
Number of Continents 6 (q.v. notes for table 3)
Number of Time Zones 16
 
Average Days per Place 4.0
Average Days per Country 28.2
Average Places per Country 7.1
 
Number of Languages Not Learned 30
Number of Currencies Spent 39
 
Border Crossings 57 (77 including internal E.U. borders)
Border Crossings by Land 30 (49 including internal E.U. borders)
Border Crossings by Air 17 (18 including internal E.U. borders)
Border Crossings by Sea 10
Passports 2
Passport Stamps 105
Visas 11
 
Crossings of the Equator 7 (5 by air, 2 on foot)
Crossings of the Tropic of Cancer 12 (8 by air, 4 by land)
Crossings of the Tropic of Capricorn 6 (3 by air, 3 by land)
Crossings of the Prime Meridian 6 (3 by air, 3 by land)
Crossings of the 180° Meridian 5 (3 by air, 2 by land)
 
% of Trip in the S. Hemisphere 52.1% (763 days of 1,464 total)
% of Trip in the E. Hemisphere 80.6% (1,181 days)
% of Trip in the Tropics 45.1% (661 days)
 
Highest Altitude Reached 5,420 meters (Thorung-La Pass, Nepal)
UNESCO Heritage Sites Visited 75 (in 36 countries)
 
Types of Accomodation 15
Number of Accommodations 363
Average Nights per Accommodation 4.0
 
Forms of Transport 32
Number of Times Transported 769 (q.v. notes for table 1)
Estimated Total Distance 171,328 km (calculated estimate1)
Equivalent Times Around the World 4.3
Average Distance per Day 117.0 km
Estimated Total Hours on Transport 1,927 (~80 days2)
Percent of Trip Spent on Transport 5.5% (~80 days of 1464 total)
 
Number of Dispatches 306 (402,330 words)
Average Words per Dispatch 1,314.8
Most Dispatches From India (82,026 words in 46 dispatches)
Percent of Places with Dispatches 53.4%
 
Number of Photos 16,426 (as of May. 11th, 2012)
Average Photos per Day 11.2
Percent of Places with Photos 94.3%
Number of Photos of Spidey 135 (see Spidey's gallery)
 
Most Photographed Country India (2,211 photos)
Least Photographed Country Monaco (2 photos)
Most Photos per Day Gibraltar (average of 393.6/day)
Least Photos per Day Canada (average of 1.3/day)
 
Number of Moleskine Journals 4
Pairs of Shoes 11 (average lifetime 4.4 months)
Pairs of Eyeglasses 3
Number of Hats 6 (average lifetime 8.0 months)
Mobile Phone Batteries 3
Broken Bones 3 (2 toes, 1 knuckle)
 
Cameras 3
Lenses 4
Camera and Lens Repairs 3 (Kathmandu, Hanoi, Kuala Lumpur)
 
Computers 4
Computer Repairs 4 (incl. power adapters and batteries)
Portable Hard Drives 7
 
Usual Pack Weight 25 kg (55 lbs.)
Pack Repairs 2 (Kathmandu and Sydney)
 
Packages Mailed Home 16 (from 9 countries)
 
 
1 based on the haversine formula for distances between latitude/longitude pairs, with a factor of 1.5 for land and sea transport to account for deviations from the straight line
2 based on est. total distance and avg. speeds of 55km/h over land/water and 850km/h by air

Table 1 lists the various forms of transportation I've taken during the trip. The first column shows the number of times I've taken a particular means of transport, and the Locations and Countries columns show the places I've taken them in (or from or to, whichever applies). Each line of the table can be read as me having taken, for example, 198 trains in 106 places which were in 28 countries, and that those were 25.7% of all my transport during the trip.

Click the plus symbols beside some of the forms of transport to expand them and show the related forms, each with its own numbers (or click the Expand all Transport button to show all the grouped transport at once). Note that the Locations and Countries numbers for these grouped forms of transport don't necessarily add up to their group totals, because they show unique locations and countries — trains in 28 countries, subways in 14 countries and trams in 9 countries doesn't add up to 51 countries, because some of those countries overlap.

A note on the methodology: The lines of definition between some forms of transport can be very blurry — trains versus local rail, highway coaches versus local buses, trams versus local rail versus subways, or suchlike. When counting I made the categorization that made sense to me for that particular occasion. Likewise, sometimes I've counted minor transport like local buses in and around a given location as one bus, and sometimes more depending on how frequent, long or significant the trip, and on what made sense to me at the time. This all brings some margin of error to the data, especially given the imperfections of memory. But mine's pretty good, and I'm fairly confident about the results.

In an effort to preserve my sanity, however, I haven't even pretended to try and remember the vast and uncountable number of small city transports like autorickshaws (tuk-tuks or bajaj), share-taxis (matatus, bemo, opelet, kombi, dala-dalas, angkot or songthaew), foot-powered rickshaws, pedicabs (cyclos, trishaws and cycle-rickshaws) or motorcycle-taxis with sidecars or trailers. Imagine a very high number and you won't be wrong.

Expand All Transport
Table 1: Breakdown of Transportation
Count Mode of Transport ▾ Locations Countries % of Transport
769
32
5
Animals
4 4 < 1%
191
Automobiles
176 33 24.8%
11
Bicycles
11 7 1.4%
73
Boats
62 26 9.5%
247
Buses
151 37 32.1%
10
Cable Cars
10 7 1.3%
5
Motorcycles
5 3 < 1%
25
Planes
30 22 3.3%
198
Trains
106 28 25.7%
4
Trucks
33 9 < 1%
Fig. 1: Proportion of Transport Types

Table 2 shows the number of nights spent in various forms of accommodation, including beds, bed-like arrangements, and things completely unrelated to beds. This includes any overnight forms of transport (which aren't split out into their subtypes as in table 1 above). The Count column totals the actual number of accommodations: I've slept many nights in tents or cars, for example, but there have been only a few different tents or cars that I've slept in. Similarly to table 1, the Locations and Countries columns list the number of places in which I've slept in that sort of accommodation. Also similarly to tale 1, each line of the table can be read as me having spent, for example, 364 nights in 97 hostels in 81 locations which were in 26 countries, and that these were 24.9% of all the nights of the trip. The observant will notice that the total number of nights might be one less than the total number of days from table 1, which isn't a miscalculation; depending on the time you're looking at this, I might not yet have spent that night anywhere.

For those unfamiliar, the Couchsurfing project is a hospitality network in which members can request to stay with other members they don't know personally — for a full explanation see couchsurfing.org. I've made the distinction here between hosting and Couchsurfing, in that hosting is provided by people I knew personally before staying with them: friends, family, or people I met along the way.

Table 2: Breakdown of Accommodation
Nights Count Accommodations ▾ Locations Countries % of Nights
1,464
363
15
11Airports11< 1%
1304Automobiles5738.9%
119Boats96< 1%
1515Buses15101%
3210Couchsurfing962.2%
72Hospitals22< 1%
36497Hostels812624.9%
12913Hosting1388.8%
494160Hotels/Guesthouses1373033.7%
1715Lodges1351.2%
88Planes87< 1%
1283Rented Rooms228.7%
22Stations22< 1%
1064Tents57217.2%
2020Trains2071.4%
Fig. 2: Proportion of Accommodation Types

Table 3 shows the lengths of stay for each continent, counting any separate visits together. The Indian subcontinent is included in Asia rather than splitting it out into its own entry — this is part of the reason for Asia's disproportionate share (the rest of the reason is that most of Asia is cheap, and so am I). Figure 3 shows the proportional length of stay in each continent by total number of days over all visits.

Table 3: Length of Stay by Continent
Continent ▾ Days Countries % of Days % of Countries
6
1,464
52
Africa
122.988.4%15.4%
Asia
554.41337.9%25%
Europe
154.61910.6%36.5%
North America
21.221.5%3.8%
Oceania
441.6430.2%7.7%
South America
166.8611.4%11.5%
Between Continents
2.100.1%< 0.1%
Fig. 3: Proportion of Length of Stay by Continent

Table 4 shows the order visited, the length of stay, and the number of locations, photos and dispatches for each country. Where a country was visited more than once, it appears in the sequence at the point of my first visit. Germany, for example, is country number 6, even though I visited again after leaving the Netherlands, country number 20. The Location column counts only unique locations; if I visited a place several times, it only counts as one location.

If the travelogue isn't up to date (which it rarely is), there might not be any photos or dispatches for the last few countries on the list (the dispatches are the bottleneck; I sometimes hold off on publishing the photos for a location until there's at least one dispatch to go with them).

Figure 4 shows the proportional length of stay in the top countries by the total number of days over all visits.

Table 4: Length of Stay, Locations and Content by Country
Country Order ▾ Days % Days Locations Photos Dispatches
52
1,464
367
16,426
306
Ireland126.41.8%1044224
Spain222.61.5%1057412
Morocco37.70.5%53616
Gibraltar4< 1< 0.1%11232
Portugal513.80.9%75719
Germany613.40.9%924510
Czech Republic75.90.4%23636
Austria85.10.3%2883
Hungary98.50.6%32544
Slovakia10< 1< 0.1%1201
Romania1121.11.4%1740915
Ukraine12< 1< 0.1%1530
Croatia136.30.4%4853
Slovenia147.10.5%72574
Italy156.30.4%41802
Vatican City16< 1< 0.1%1260
France1712.20.8%64068
Monaco18< 1< 0.1%120
Belgium191.90.1%1261
Netherlands2030.2%3731
Qatar21< 1< 0.1%1121
Kenya222.10.1%11181
Tanzania2311.90.8%86537
Malawi2480.5%41274
Zambia258.90.6%42867
Botswana263.30.2%2932
Namibia2720.81.4%1465113
South Africa2860.24.1%949223
India2998.36.7%30221146
Nepal3037.72.6%2145025
China3138.52.6%1234812
Japan3241.72.9%1275314
Vietnam3318.61.3%61153
Cambodia3423.11.6%42380
Thailand3527.11.9%71040
Laos3628.82%51460
Malaysia37174.911.9%137496
Indonesia3856.73.9%204139
Brunei3920.1%1360
Singapore404.40.3%1110
Australia41169.511.6%308830
New Zealand42172.211.8%4810541
Tonga4327.61.9%2730
Fiji4471.94.9%81450
Argentina4591.46.2%547813
Uruguay469.90.7%21151
Brazil47< 1< 0.1%1580
Chile48100.7%31870
Bolivia4935.22.4%52980
Peru5019.71.3%84632
Costa Rica5120.91.4%3983
Canada52< 1< 0.1%122
Between Countries-5.20.4%000
Fig. 4: Proportion of Length of Stay by Country
Flourish

4 Comments:

May 9th, 2011

HO-LY CRAP.

This is the most amazing travel report I’ve ever read. :D

¬ Mary
May 9th, 2011

Aw, you’re just sayin’ that. But thanks all the same. :)

¬ Chris
November 11th, 2011

This gets better and more jealousy inducing every time look at it. I also feel kinda proud that Ireland has the third largest number of dispatches. :D

¬ Mary
November 11th, 2011

Well, Ireland’s a pretty cool place - and the literary mojo was definitely higher at the beginning of the trip. In fact, if you ignore the countries we visited for less than a day, Ireland is in second place in terms of dispatches per day (just behind Czech). 

¬ Chris
January 17th, 2012

Wow such stats. It’s hard for anyone else to beat your record.

¬ Wong Choong Cheok
February 5th, 2012

27.6 days in Tonga and no dispatches? How about a post-trip debrief? Also 172 for NZ and only 1 dispatch. What’s up? (Wendy - friend of Ryan F)

¬ Wendy J
February 5th, 2012

Hi Wendy. Yeah, I definitely got behind the eight-ball a couple of years ago. Between busy travel and some writer’s block, I haven’t written much since Vietnam, and the longer I went on the farther behind I got. But I’m working on it! I’ll fill in the blanks in the next couple of months. Thanks for reading!

¬ Chris
Flourish
Chris Liberty - Dispatches from a Gentleman Adventurer
Being the internal dialog of a vagabond who chased his own tail across five continents for 4 years and 2 days from May 2008 to May 2012, in search of something that never really became clear.
This travelogue comprises 16,426 photographs and 402,515 words in 307 dispatches written from 335 places in 52 countries on 6 continents around the world.
Don't like using the map? Navigate through continents, countries and locations using the tree below.
Thrill to the exploits of our infamous sidekick Spidey (a small gentleman adventurer himself) in photo-essay form in his very own gallery!
Contact via Email:Contact via Email
Follow on Twitter:Follow on Twitter
Locations feed:Locations feed
Dispatch feed:Dispatch feed
Photograph feed:Photo feed