So it turns out we travelled for over 60,000km which is 3.5 times the direct distance between London and Sydney. And took on average one photo every 1.29km. Read on to find out more fun travel statistics from the last year.
We are considering our trip to be roughly 1 year long, from the day we left London to the day we had drinks in Sydney with our friends (we arrived in Sydney 2 days beforehand for job interviews). It still took us a few weeks to find our own apartment and begin unpacking boxes.
The average nights number blows our mind a little. We statistically slept in the same place for 3 days, before moving ourselves and all our things to a new place and staying there for 3 days, before moving again… for an entire year!
We spent 1 night in a room 88 times, 2 nights in a room 53 times, and 3 nights in a room 81 times. Our spread of times across countries is pretty mixed.
We only spent 7 nights or more in 4 places for all 366 days!
What’s more, 2016 was a leap year, so we had a bonus day of travel: February 29th was spent in Malacca, Malaysia.
And that Trans-Mongolian train journey is long! We took a break at 5192km’s to see Irkutsk and Lake Baikal, but it still took 4 days of to get there from Moscow. The train would only stop for 15-20 minutes every few hours. If we went all the way to Vladivostok, it would have been 9259km’s, an eye-watering 167 hour journey! Despite being fed vodka by an overeager babushka, we thankfully managed to get off at the right stop…
Both Austria and Belgium were lunch stops. As we both visited Belgium a few times before (and it was only 2 hours out of London), we thought we should get cracking on our journey. We had a small wander through Austria’s Vienna for the afternoon, but chose to spend the night in much cheaper Slovakian capital Bratislava. It’s a 1 hour long, 80km drive between them.
Here is our journey
England, Belgium, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Kosovo, Macedonia (FYROM), Albania, Greece, Turkey, Georgia, Russia, Mongolia, China, Nepal, India, Myanmar/Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia
Our trip was more about the destinations we really wanted to visit - we planned it as a long string connecting places together, rather than ticking off countries.
We didn’t visit the capital cities in 4 countries:
Belgium, Greece, India or Australia.
We spent between 3 and 7 nights in most European and Balkan countries as travel costs were significantly higher and we had visited many of these countries before. And we had a lot of ground to cover ahead of us.
We spent 25 or more days in:
China, Czech Republic, India, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand and Turkey.
Australia almost makes this list as we travelled across the country and didn’t arrive in Sydney for more than three weeks.
Note that Kosovo is counted as independent mainly because the U.S., most of the United Nations and all of Kosovo’s neighbours (except Serbia) also think so. Plus the cultural identity is of strong independence.
And if you’re wondering about Macedonia’s additional FYROM acronym, it stands for Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, a name to differentiate it from the Macedonia region of neighbouring Greece.
A transport unit is when we carried all our things, to get from accommodation A to accommodation B. A few times we left things in one place (Kathmandu) for when we returned from an activity (hiking around the Everest region).
We count a ‘car’ as private transport, like a taxi, and ‘bus’ is scheduled public transport, no matter the size, style or amount of welded parts that somehow held these things together (that’d be you, Georgia).
At 252 forms of transport divided by our total journey distance of 60,644km (more on this later), that’s an average of 240.65km on each mode of transport.
We only have 3 scooter rides listed above that we carried ALL our backpacks on, but each was a complex logistical riddle. e.g. how do you get 1 scooter, 2 people, 2 backpacks and 2 small packs from accommodation A on the north of Koh Pha Ngan to ferry B on the south of the island, by 8:30am and return the scooter to rental C.
But for every day sightseeing, scooters are the best way to independently get around in many countries. Just look at the locals.
Our original vision of the trip was of long, lazy afternoons spent gazing out of train windows as the golden landscape rolled past, filling our time by tapping away on our laptops. But the reality was about half our journey was spent on buses. They really do make the world go round.
We took far more private cars than we realised - 56 - often due to inter-city bus terminals being surprisingly far from the city we were trying to reach (we’re looking at you, Turkey). And when we had friends with us, splitting a car for short distances was comparable to individual bus tickets.
Despite wanting to go all the way overland, we took 6 flights overall. Once from Kunming to nearby Kathmandu (via not nearby Hong Kong), as travelling through Tibet was out of bounds for monetary, cultural, and time-related reasons. Our third and fourth was to-and-from the beginning of the Everest-region hike (we seriously entertained the notion of hiking this part too, but the extra 12 total days didn’t appeal to us.) Our fifth flight was from Singapore to Jakarta, taken as our weekly ferry became ‘de-scheduled’ due to the solar eclipse (seriously), and our final flight was from Bali to Darwin.
Rickshaws may be ubiquitous all around Asia, but we barely took any. Does any foreigner ever get a good deal from those guys?
TOTAL DISTANCE TRAVELLED: 60,644 KM
This was calculated by meticulously tracing our route into Google Maps, country by country. It doesn’t include sightseeing and we’re not 100% sure on our exact route through Mongolia, seeing as there are barely any roads to trace, but we tried our best.
We travelled 3.5 times the direct distance from London to Sydney, a breezy 21 hour flight covering 16,983km.
To cover our 60,644km, we could have flown from London to Sydney, back to London, back to Sydney, and halfway back again, ending in Kolkata, India. Total flying time? 73.5 hours, non stop, or 3 days.
Unsurprisingly, the largest countries were the ones we spent the most time travelling through - Russia, China and Australia make up the top three. Tiny Singapore is on the bottom of the list of the countries we stayed in.
India and the Czech Republic are perhaps the most mismatched - we only travelled a small part of India, and inversely travelled all around tiny Czech.
And for our imperial friends in U.S.A, Myanmar and Liberia, 60,644 km is 37,682 miles.
We backed our files up on three separate hard drives, and an FTP server whenever we had a decent Internet connection. Which was basically never. Here’s what we carried:
We calculated photos and videos together:
That’s one photo for every 1.29km’s travelled!
And 3,012 photos per country!
And 214.03 photos per day!
If we were using some B&W Tri-X 36-exposure film, we would have gone through 2,175 rolls.
Without the canisters, each one weighs 28.7g, meaning we’d have an extra person in weight with us - 62.4kg, or roughly 4 extra full-sized backpacks.
Our top three snap-happy countries were Turkey, Myanmar and China.
Literally one in eight of all of Emma's photos taken in a year of travel was from Turkey, and interestingly, Pete took exactly the same amount of photos in Singapore as he did in Kosovo.
So, we have a lot of photo editing in front of us now.
Assuming only 5% of our photos are worthy of editing and showing the world, that brings us down to 3,916.75 photos from our year long trip.
If we managed to edit 10 photos per day, it would take us just over a year to get through them all.
Luckily there’s two of us - so if we get cracking, it should only take us 6 months!
ACCIDENTS AND SICKNESS
Strangely, we didn’t catch any cold or flu’s for the whole trip, nor did we take vitamin supplements.
We got off pretty well except for:
Turkey was the country that had us rushing to the toilet the most and this probably built our iron-walled digestion that carried us all the way to Australia. We enjoyed street food all through Nepal, India and South-East Asia and only got sick three times between us. If only we could print that on a t-shirt.
Pete counted his lucky stars, sporting only a minor bruise when he was thrown from his skittish Mongolian ex-racehorse. Trust us - the commando roll was worthy of Youtube fame. But it was a crumbling wall in Turkey which torpedoed any serious walking for almost 6 weeks.
We didn’t get mugged, nor have our bank cards skimmed, or have anything stolen except for Emma’s decade-old superglued travel watch which disappeared from a room in Denpasar. It may have been a cleaner or a cockroach, we’re not too sure.
EQUIPMENT & POSTAGE
We each had one main backpack and one smaller bag for electronics and passports. A third bag, dubbed ‘food bag’, took many forms; sometimes a tote (or two) and sometimes plastic. ‘Food Bag’ usually contained one small can of tuna that we carried through 10 countries and never ate.
Most of our packages contained fridge magnets, presents and things we didn’t need anymore, such as hiking gear. Our lost Mongolian package was the only one we filled with souvenirs and hard drive backups, and contained fridge magnets from 4 countries.
And there you have it. Any statistics we may have missed? Let us know in the comments!
EMMA & PETE
We're just two Aussie's who met in London, married in Prague and travelled overland back to Australia.