My Own Compilation of Numbers

It is customary to look back at the year that was before the new one begins. This process was started a while ago but only now has there been time to present some of the findings.

I have laboured over the total distance that I have travelled last year. I started the calculation from Dec 26th. On that day I was flying out of London to South Africa. I ve not included the travel from Poland to London the previous day on Christmas Day. That series of flights from Krakow to London and the subsequent journey from Heathrow to my flat constituted the most fluid and pleasurable journey of my life. I chose instead the next day of travel where I left London to fly to South Africa. It is an impressive flight distance.

The itinerary was as follows:

  • London to Istanbul 2486 km
  • Istanbul to Cape Town 8299 km
  • Cape Town to George 375 km

The return was from Cape Town to Istanbul and then to London. We drove from Mossel Bay to Cape Town as part of our journey while there. The statistics involve including an estimation of my journeys. I am not including all the public transport journeys that I have taken during my travels.

What I am including is the journey that I made to work in London at the start of the year. I estimated an eleven week stay there after returning from South Africa. I worked in the same place and took the most efficient route there. In order to make the estimation more accurate I subtracted my estimated walking distance during my return trip. This adjustment only constituted 0.4% of the grand total but is 14.5% of the total return distance that I walked daily. On average I walked 14768 steps per day while there which is 10.7 km. The walking distance from Regents Park to Victoria is 4.7 km. That walk was 43.9% of my daily average distance total.


While we are at it what is the total distance that I have traversed using only my feet as the mode of transport? I spent hours manually entering the number of steps, the distance covered and the number of flights of stairs that I have has been recorded by my phone. Surprisingly there is no automatic summation feature that could tell me a total. All I get is a line graph and an average. For the record this is how a flight of stairs is defined by the manufacturer:

A flight of stairs is counted as approximately 3 m (10′) of elevation gain ( approximately 16 steps)

A step has a much longer explaination:

Step count is the number of steps you take throughout the day.Pedometers and digital activity trackers help you determine your step count. These devices count steps for any activity that involves step-like movement, including walking, running, stair climbing, cross-country skiing, and even movement as you go about your daily chores.

There is no such description for how distance is defined and tracked. one would assume that it is based on the location read periodically by the GPS. I won’t bother to locate that precise information now. Needless to say the top distance day corresponded with the top step day. The total for this day was 37423 steps which was a distance of 27.81 km. This occured on April 3rd and I was in Dubai surprisingly enough. The only true way I have of knowing which day it was on is based on looking at pictures taken on my phone. It was a hot day as I remember it now and I walked to the west and then to the east.


The second highest step count occured two days later on April 5th. That’s the day after I met Albert and he showed me around Mumbai. I always thought that this would be my highest day of walking travel but it wasn’t. Still a distance of 27.07 km and a step count of 36768 is nothing to sneeze at considering that my daily average step count has been 13222 corresponding to an average distance of 9.45 km. The total number of steps recorded was  4931839 corresponding to a distance of 3525.45 km. Since I have been working in MRI I have not carried the phone with me so the number of steps taken during work has not been recorded. My daily average has diminished significantly since returning to Vancouver. The average number of steps taken in London during my remaining time there was 14768 while the average in Vancouver has been 10249. Dividing the total distance by the total number of steps gives me an estimation of the length my stride which is 71cm just over two feet in length.



The higest totals for flights of stairs taken were 209 and 147. The highest number corresponding to June 19th the day I lost my wallet and my brother and me climbed the mountain twice searching for it. Once was during the day at a leisurely pace the other was at night with the help of headlamps. The second highest total corresponded to May 26th the last full day with the group in China when we climbed the Great Wall of China. The total would have ben much higher if I climbed from the bottom of the hill instead of taking the gondola but it felt like a feat at the time. The total steps was higher on Great Wall day versus loosing wallet day in Duncan 26780 to 25803 respectively. The next highest total was 70 flights on April 11th. I was in Pushkar and climbed the mountain by the city.



The total distance flown during this period that I am examining is about 49143 km. The longest flight by far was from Istanbul to Cape Town 8299km. The second was Tokyo to Vancouver 7875 km. The flight from Tokyo took a lot less time though. The flight from and to Cape Town made a pit stop in Johanesburg extending its duration considerably. The third longest flight was Dehli to Singapore 4126 km.


The longest train journey taken last year was 1376 km from Xi’an to Shanghai. That was one long ass journey overnight. The next one from Shanghai to Beijing was 1212 km long and it was the second longest journey by train. Compare that to my eleven weeks of going back and forth to work in London which was calculated to be 1787 km. Those train rides were over fifteen hours long if I remember correctly.



I calculated the total distance that I travelled from December 26th 2014 to January 3rd 2016 to be 63226 km. Flying constituted a great deal of this distance. It was an interesting excercise to perform.

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