Novel Completion Queries, Day Twelve

Is the novel finished? NO

Today’s question: What is the furthest away you’ve ever been from your home?

My answer: So far, Melbourne, Australia, which is (or so Google tells me) 9,807 miles from my current hometown of Bradford, Ohio.

However, that record is about to be broken, because on Sunday I get on a plane to Perth, Australia, which is 11,167 miles away, to be the International Guest of Honor at Swancon 40.  As the circumfrence of the Earth at the equator is 24,902 miles, meaning one can only get 12,451 miles from home before one starts inching back, it’s entirely possible that Perth is just about as far as I can get from Bradford and still be dry land — Indeed, another quick check of Google shows that the spot on Earth exactly opposite of Bradford is a spot in the Indian Ocean almost equidistant from Perth and a small island I’ve never heard of before called the French Southern and Antarctic Lands — and even then Perth (11,167 miles away) is further from my hometown than that island is (11,005 miles).

So yeah, very soon I will very literally be on the other side of the world from my home, nearly as far away from it as it is possible to get. That’s a little weird if you think about it.

How far have you gotten from home?

126 Comments on “Novel Completion Queries, Day Twelve”

  1. The furtherest I’ve been afield before is New York City, which is pretty damn far from New Zealand; but tomorrow I get on a plane for London, which is pretty much directly opposite New Zealand. So like you, my record will soon be broken.

  2. MapQuest tells me I’ve traveled 2,852.30 miles from home; when I was younger, I went from Honesdale, PA to San Francisco, CA.

  3. Arusha, Tanzania. Approx. 8000 mi or so from Fargo as the crow flies (although not as the plane flies, the plane has layovers after all). Part of a three week tour through east Africa back in 2004 as part of an Anthropology program. I caught dysentery on the first day, got caked in dust and made myself sick on sugar cane moonshine, almost sold an annoying member of my party at a bar.

    It was a great trip.

  4. St. Petersburg…..Russia. And Finland, Estonia, Poland and Scandinavia(a cruise.) I live in Columbus Ohio. It was the most wonderful vacation I have had to date. Not your regular European trip but I did the England, France, Italy, Greece, Germany, Holland, Belgium tour after college. And…I am a nervous traveler and have motion sickness!!!! It is worth it.

  5. 8,561 + miles – Thailand. Bangkok and then Pattaya, which is some miles south of Bangkok and is a beautiful, relaxing tourist trap. go to the beach, get a massage and eventually a kid will come along, offering to sell you any manner of firearms and other weapon systems – though if you’re looking for tanks or helicopters, you’ll need to talk to his boss.

  6. 6,689 mi

    Spokane WA to Amman, Jordan

    Israel, Jordan and Palestine.

    A great trip from a generous Mother

  7. Red Bay Labrador – probably the second European settlement in North America – after L’aux a Meadows across the Strait of Belle Isle. Beautiful country up there and I plan to go back soon. It’s about 4,000 miles.

  8. ~5500mi: Matteson, IL (we’ve moved, since) to Istanbul, Turkey. Ten amazing days there with a couple of really fun women as traveling companions. It was my first time (ever) out of the country. I usually do fall in love, at least a little, with the places I visit. I fell hard for Istanbul.

  9. The farthest I have been from home (currently rural eastern Tennessee) is Veldhoven, The Netherlands. Though once when I was a kid growing up in Portland, Oregon, we went to Amsterdam, so that may have been the longest distance-wise. (too lazy to look it up.)

    I love the Netherlands with a great, mushy, uninformed love. I’m still working on learning Dutch so I can communicate better with the younger members of my family there.

  10. Not far, compared to those who posted before me, but according to Google, the furthest I have traveled, is from where I last lived in NJ to Basel and Lausanne Switzerland. Good old Google tells me that Basel was 10 miles further away that Lausanne, but I don’t think they can be quite that accurate. This was a European trip I took with my late husband. It actually surprised me that these cities were the furthest from home.

  11. 8,109 miles from Jacksonville, Florida to Guam. I was supposed to go to Australia and/or Japan while there but the time never allowed it.

  12. From central Georgia (USA, not old Russia) to Shenzhen China, around 8500 miles as the crow flies. Slightly longer by Delta.

  13. I think I’m the current champion. According to Google, it’s 11,683 miles from London to Wellington (New Zealand, not Somerset), where I went for the New Zealand natcon before the most recent Australian Worldcon.

  14. Perth Australia.. Hmm well we did spend a weekend on an island off the west coast of Oz (Australia). Me mum’s from Perth and I was visiting my grandparents.

  15. 8257.43 from Edmonton, Canada to Sydney Australia. I was pretty young though. (5 years old). However, I believe my earliest childhood memory that, if I didn’t fabricate it, was finding what would become my first pet: a blue tongued lizard that was trapped in a storm drain.
    My dad was on sebatical for a year, and the lizard lived in the basement up until a week before we had to fly home. I was told it ran away…

  16. Tokyo, 6771 miles from DC. On EPA business, twice. Looks like it should be further, but it’s a geodesic, over the Arctic.

  17. If I’m allowed to claim the distance from my *current* home to any point I’ve visited in the past, I can say 11,407 miles – the distance from Auckland, NZ to London, where I live now — amazing that the Brits managed to govern territory literally on the other side of the world, using wooden sailing ships and pieces of paper (and also a few cannon, I imagine.)

    But at the time I visited Auckland I lived in San Francisco, so the little string between me and home only stretched out to 6,536 miles then.

    If the question is restricted to “how long has that invisible between you and your home gotten,” I can claim about 8,700 miles – from London to a point just off the Antarctic Peninsula, near Neko Harbor.

  18. 8460 miles, San Francisco to Singapore. Or 9400 miles, Boston to Singapore. Since “home” at that point was either my family home or the college I’d just graduated from.

  19. XKCD’s What If? has a great exploration of the record on a related question – most isolated from any other human:

    The Apollo astronauts handily win the “farthest from home” award, but interestingly, the command module pilots may not be on top of the “farthest from any other human” leaderboard.

  20. 10,128 miles from Van Wert, OH to Uluru, NT, Australia. Hope to make Perth sometime, but nobody’s going to pay for me to go but me.

  21. 7054 miles, from where I grew up in Yorkshire to Honolulu, Hawaii.

    Of course, this may be cheating since I live in Oregon now.

  22. 16,361km Adelaide, Australia to Fort William, Scotland or in Imperial 10,166.3 Miles. I have been all the way up to Skara Brae in Orkney but that’s actually closer than Fort William!

  23. 7915 miles, from NYC to Calcutta. In the dark days before tablets or smart phones or entertainment consoles on the back of the seat in front of you.

    It’s incredible how much more tolerable long-distance travel is with a shiny piece of glass to distract you.

  24. A bit over 4,600 miles for me (4,616, to be precise) when I traveled from my then-home city of Detroit, Michigan to Rome, Italy 41 years ago this summer. I am not much of a traveler; too stingy to squander all that money on the airfare, and not terribly enthused about spending multiple hours cooped up in a flying coffin, either.

  25. Probably Auckland, NZ, 8190 miles from Chicago, though possibly one of the places I visited on the South Island might be a little farther.

  26. 6900 miles from Culpeper, VA (lovely this time of year, come visit!) to Beijing, PRC.

  27. New York City is 13,813.55 kilometers from Manila, Philippines or 8583.342 statute miles or 7458.702 nautical miles

  28. A little over 4,000 miles (New Jersey to Suomenlinna, Finland) visiting relatives. I’d like to get to Ayers Rock one day.

  29. I grew up in Chicago. From Chicago, I visited L.A. many times (grandparents used to live in Granada Hills). My family moved to Houston in March ’84, where I still live with my husband. From Houston, I’ve traveled to several places within the contiguous 48, never AK or HI. Furthest distance west is probably still L.A., furthest distance east might be DC. Hubby’s got me beat–although he was born in DC and spent most of his formative years in either VA or TX, when he was young he lived for a few years in Windsor, England, and in his early teens he lived for a few years in Melbourne, AU.

  30. 8,635 miles from Grand Rapids, MI to Saigon, Vietnam. That was a looooong flight.

  31. 6012 miles from New Orleans to Mykolayiv, Ukraine. That’s as the crow flies; with connections I’m sure it was further.

  32. I’ve been 10,050 miles away from home. There aren’t many places (on dry land) on earth further away from Dallas than Jakarta, but the furthest possible is Mauritius. So of course I had to wiki that. Apparently it was the home of the dodo bird! Neat. Haven’t been there, and probably won’t go. It’s pretty far and it’s unlikely work would be willing to foot the bill this time.

  33. From then-current La Serena Chile to Brussels is my longest at 11600km. If I’m allowed current town of Tucson, AZ, then it’s clearly Johannesburg, South Africa at 16000km.

    Interesting note: Wolfram Alpha gives you transit time in terms of airplane, sound, light in fibre and light in vacuum :)

  34. I was born in south India, so depending on where I’ve lived in the US, it’s been up to 9,240 miles (15,514 km). Currently it’s 8,698 miles (13,998 km), from Madurai to Washington DC. On the other hand, the closest I’ve lived to my birthplace since the age of 4 has been 3,636 miles (5,842 km), Madurai to Sasebo, Japan.

  35. I was going to say 7028 miles, from Seattle to Delhi. Then I realized it’s 8474 miles between San Jose and Singapore, a trip I have also made. Not bad, considering I have never been south of the equator.

  36. I went from the east coast of the US to Fiji as a Peace Corps volunteer in the 1980s. 7800 miles, give or take. Now I live in Hawai’i, so I go at least 2500 miles from home whenever I leave home. Hawai’i is the most isolated population center on Earth – just sayin’. I went to Florida in January, a mere 4700 miles.

  37. My greatest travel distance is 9,931 miles from home in Michigan to Hobart (Tasmania) Australia. Hobart was kind of boring, but there are some cool things to see around there if you rent a car.

  38. Interesting: I thought the answer would be Uliastai, Mongolia at ~ 5,800 miles from my home at the time in Bozeman, Montana. But the answer turns out to be Erzurum, Turkey, ~6,800 miles from Santa Fe, New Mexico. I guess having those two endpoints rather further south really lengthens the great circle segment.

  39. There was this line (well furrow really) in a cornfield… It was about a two day walk, as I recall.

  40. 9,966 miles (twice) on business trips from LA to Cape Town, South Africa. LA to Frankfurt to Gauteng to Cape Town. As I recall it was 24 flight hours plus an 8 hour layover in Frankfurt.

    Let me add that South Africa is an absolutely beautiful country and the citizens were wonderful. I wouldn’t mind living in Cape Town permanently.

  41. 6,238 miles, Seattle to Kusadasi, Turkey (although I was living in Hungary at the time I visited Turkey, a much shorter trip; Seattle to Battonya, Hungary is the longest single trip I’ve made: 5,579 miles, but I do this every few years to visit in-laws). I’d also need to travel to the French Southern and Antarctic Lands for maximum distance (specifically, Ile de l’Est, 12,179.998 miles away and uninhabited)

  42. Whilst living in Nottingham, England I went (back) to Wellington, NZ; that’d be a little further than London-Wellington. If you expand the question slightly, I’ve visited both the Orkneys (above Scotland) and Stewart Island (south of NZ), so that must be getting close to visiting spots that 12,000 miles apart, surely. Neither count as home, however.

  43. 8917 miles, give or take, from where I live in CT to Auckland, NZ. I would’ve thought that Taupo or Napier would’ve been slightly farther, but apparently not. They’re south of Auckland, but also east, so there ya go.

    My sinuses were screwed up for 3 days after flying out there. The first leg to LA wasn’t too bad, but then 12 1/2 hours from LA to Auckland was just brutal.

    If I ever get back (South Island), I might want to try and break up the trip somehow. Stop in Fiji… take a ship… something.

  44. John S, The Google distance would be along the surface of the earth, not through the earth. The latter being a more difficult trip.

  45. I’m not even close to the top contenders here … when I was quite young, my parents once took me from NYC to Mexico City, train(s) to Laredo then bus from there. And if you stretch the “rules” to allow for routing, when I was older and out on my own living in Wash. DC, I once flew from there to Seattle to visit a penpal, and after a few days flew down to Los Angeles with a l-o-n-g layover in SF, long enough to permit renting a car and doing a fair bit of sightseeing. Coming home was by bus through the southwest and Texas to New Orleans, which I’d never seen before, and then by air home again.

    More recently, living in Toronto, my step-dad paid our way out to Fresno so our kids could meet “real grandma” — good timing, since she passed away only a couple of years later. Routing was interesting … I would have expected via Denver or Salt Lake City, or possibly SF with a quick hop down from there, but it turned out, surprisingly, the most convenient was a nonstop Toronto to Dallas with a good connection to a Dallas-Fresno nonstop (I never would have guessed the latter flight existed).

  46. I don’t get out much — have never been to the Southern Hemisphere and only once to the Eastern.

    So only 4901 miles from my house to the Orkney Islands. Looks like several Whateverites have been there and I bet we all looked at Skara Brae.

    Still, that’s 39% of the way around a whole planet, so not bad.

  47. Miles and miles, into the past and back, into possible futures and back and then into uncharted imagination where all measures are meaningless…

  48. When I was fifteen years old I traveled from my home in California to London, England with my dad. Google says it’s 5,318 mi. Now, by myself I went a year later to Edinburgh, Scotland, which is, according to google, three hundred miles less from here.

  49. 4,967, or thereabouts. Suburban Chicago to Moscow. But it was a LONG time ago . . .

  50. I’m not sure if Japan or Thailand is further away, but both are pretty far from NYC :)

  51. Home: Melbourne, Australia. I have lived in Mantua and Florence, Italy, and (for highly suspect definitions of the word”lived”) Madison, Wisconsin. I don’t know what they are as the crow flies, but they are are all over 15 000 miles to fly to (great circles and travel routes being what they are.)

  52. London (16971km) or more accurately, Hinckley (16997km) or Liverpool (17043km) from Canberra, where I was living at the time. My current home city is Perth, whence the respective distances are 14470, 14559, and 14667km. (I have no idea what those come to in miles. I think in km).

  53. @ Bob P who said ‘Define “home.” ‘?
    Dude, “home” is where when you have to go there? They have to let you in.

  54. Wilmington NC to Tripoli Libya in 1955, about 5042 miles in a prop plane. I’ve crossed the US coast to coast several times but it’s not the same somehow.

  55. A bit less than 8000 miles — Covina CA USA to Melbourne Vic, Australia. (Additional surface travel to The Alice & back, but that’s closer to California.) To attend the 33rd WorldCon, in Melbourne — AussieCon — (no number… they didn’t the WorldCon would ever get back to OZ) in 1975. Great Con, even more marvelous county, though much too big for a mere month-long visit.

  56. Interesting question. I was born and raised in Pittsburgh and moved to Johannesburg, SA for about two years when I was in high school – but then Johannesburg had become “home”, so I wasn’t far from home until I came back to Pittsburgh for three weeks in the middle.

    So I guess the farthest I’ve been from home is the 8300 miles or so from Jo’burg to Pittsburgh, when I was back in the house I grew up in…

  57. If you go from where I was living then to where I went (Chicago area to Vienna) is was 4,682 mi. If you go from where I live now to Vienna – 4,682 mi – which is strange because google reports the distance from Chicago to where I live now is 2,322 mi

    But if we apply Pythagorus’ theorem it all makes sense if we treat them as sides to a triangle (not a right triangle, but the concept is there)

    Loved Vienna – I skipped lunch and had pastry with coffee mid-morning and afternoon instead. Went to the opera (the nose of figaro as I recall). Went to the Shonbrun and the zoo – where Viennese kids were crowded around the raccoons (Waschbär or washing bears in German)

  58. I had to look this up: Gansbaii, South Africa, 10287.53 flight miles from Seattle. Perth is only a mere 9256.43 miles, so it’s not even a contender. The furthest city from Seattle – as opposed to a spot in the ocean – is Saint-Paul on the island of Reunion @ 10591.89 miles (haven’t been there). It looks like cracking the 11000 mile mark just isn’t in the cards for me (at least, not as long as I live in Seattle).

  59. 8,700 miles from San Francisco to Pondicherry, India. I had some friends who were interested in Sai Baba so we went to Puttaparthi, I figured it was a good way to see some of India and along the way we stopped in Pondicherry which I enjoyed a lot more than Puttaparthi.

  60. My hometown is Hobart, Tasmania (which as noted above can be kinda boring, but is getting better these days) and as a child I visited the west coast of Ireland in County Galway, which is roughly ~18,000km (~11,100 miles) away.

  61. To celebrate my last semester in college, my roommate and I took a trip to Australia. From Columbus, OH to Uluru, the two most distant points on our trip, was 10,227 miles.

  62. From Sudbury MA to San Juan Islands, Washington is 3,127 miles. Now I thought David Betz was with me at the time, so that would have been his actual longest distance. Perhaps it was his doppleganger, I may be in trouble now….

  63. From Boston to Sydney, about 10,000 miles.

    You should check out the Kerguelen in the French Southern and Antarctic Lands. It’s a French scientific base and, since the 1950s, a permanent population of about 100, but no one has been there for more than a few years. Strange Maps noted that it is a permanent society with amnesia.

  64. Being a Perthite born and bred, my antipodeal point must be near you, then – tells me it’s in the North Atlantic, about at the intersection of a line drawn out from South Carolina and one down from Nova Scotia. I’ve flown just about over there several times in the past, most recently on a flight from London to DC, and I did a couple of med school rotations in North Carolina. The nearest landfall appears to be Bermuda – I wonder if Perth’s antipodeal point is in the Bermuda Triangle?

  65. Forty some years ago, I flew out of Ohare airport in Chicago in the middle of a blizzard, to install a computer in Los Angeles. I saw the airport, the freeway, my hotel, the hotel restaurant, the bank (where the computer was being installed) and the airport again. Then had to try and find my car at the airport garage. Turns out I was looking on the wrong floor.

  66. Probably Vienna, Austria. It was spring break 1991, and my home at the time (not counting the hostel in London) was Springfield, Missouri, which Google informs me is 8,246 km from Vienna. I was thinking my 2013 trip to Sweden (from my Colorado home) might have been farther, but apparently I only wandered 7,740 km for that. If my plans for Greece work out next spring, though, I’ll beat my former record, as Athens is almost 10,000 km away.

  67. About 3460 miles between New York and London areas. Which end was ‘home’ depends on when you’re talking about. My father’s job sent him to the US for what was supposed to be a year… 40 years later, I’m still here (and he would be if he were still alive).

  68. 10,353 miles – Tammy’s and I’s former home town of New York City to Melbourne, Australia, because Tammy was GoH at a School Library Festival in Hobart, Tasmania, and was doing author appearances in Sydney and Melbourne afterwards.

  69. New Zealand’s antipodean point is in southern Spain.
    I can’t remember any Spaniards at the pre-AussieCon3 NZ Natcon in Wellington.

    The furtherest I’ve got from Auckland (I’ve never lived south of here) is Paris at some 18,600km/11.550mi on a trip in 2013 – we did a loop Lille-Amsterdam-Koblenz-Luxembourg from there. When living in London in 1998 I made a visit ‘home’, but didn’t go far enough south that trip to beat the above. I have lived in Poole, UK, and have been to Bluff, Southland, NZ, which stretches me to 19,150km/11,900mi.

    A near-abandoned village on a dusty hill above Gerolimenos on the Mani peninsula in southern Greece felt like a long way from my modern home. As did an excavated Roman amphitheatre on the border of their empire in Wales.

  70. Likewise Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, that being 12,648 km from San Francisco, CA, USA. (But what are these ‘miles’ of which you speak? Something from 20th century prehistory?)

    The actual antipodes from chez nous would be about 500 due south of Esperance on the south coast of Western Australia, a spot in the southern Indian Ocean approximately where MH370 is believed likely to have gone down. (Coincidence? I think not.)

  71. Lo cal geography pedant here… 500 south of Esperance is in the Southern Ocean, further away from MH370 than New York is from LA.

  72. From home base of Las Vegas? Went to Diego Garcia once 10,380 miles but I went the long way, via Norfolk Va over water. That trip took me (and the rest of the crew of the USS El Paso LKA-117) from the east coast to above the arctic circle and down through the med, Suez canal down the east coast of Africa to a little island called Diego Garcia in the middle of the Indian Ocean. First Navy cruise and most memorable.

  73. JamesRT: According to Google, Nottingham is actually closer to Wellington than London is — 11,601 miles instead of 11,683.

  74. 4840 miles (give or take) from Sheffield, MA (where I was living at the time) to Athens, Greece. I took a bus from London to Athens, a two day trip which had the virtue of being very cheap (I was just out of college, and traveling on the poverty plan). After about the first eight hours you begin to suspect that you’re being punished for your sins, and yet the scenery was spectacular (omigod, look, another castle!). It was still in the days of Yugoslavia (rather than Croatia), which we went through to get to Greece, and that was fascinating.

  75. Istanbul from San Francisco which the internet says is 6017 miles but they didn’t say which way. We went via Europe.

  76. Live in Leeds, Yorkshire, England, and I used to work in New Zealand (Auckland, mainly, but occasionally Wellington), which is 11,548 miles from my home.

  77. drplokta + JamesRT: While I was faffing about on Google last night I remembered I’d spent 3 months in Poole, and realised (it being further south than London) it would give me a little bit more.

  78. I lived in Japan for a year, which is 6307 miles from where I lived (Chicago) at the time. I took a vacation to Thailand while I was there, so I’m not sure if it is cheating to say I was 8864 miles from my original home. I was living in the outskirts of Tokyo at the time, which is 2557 miles from Koh Samue, the island where I stayed.

  79. Longest physical distance: Hartford, CT to Bangkok, 8,570 miles, Longest mental distance: Hartford to Perm,, Russia 4.942 miles and about 40years.

  80. What’s more interesting than the distance is how disorienting I found it to see the Americas on the *right* side of a map, rather than the left. Distance from Denver to New Dhelhi: 7,707 miles.

  81. It’s nearly a tie: Hong Kong (7236 miles) and Cappadocia, Turkey (7140 miles)

  82. About 3461 miles between New York and London. Which end was ‘home’ depends on when you’re asking; first time the trip was made (1975), home was in England, but by the last time (1981), it was definitely the US.

    (Also, technically, home was never in either city, but they’re close enough.)

  83. South Korea, which according to Google is 6,804 miles from my starting point of Bloomington, Indiana. Not as far as I thought.

  84. It depends where “home” is.

    If you mean hometown (which for me is Nashville, TN), then the answer is Jakarta, Indonesia.

    If you mean home right now (which for me would be Hong Kong), then it would be Knoxville, TN.

  85. 10,500 km, which is the distance from Xiangyang, China and San Francisco. I’ve also managed just over 10,000 km by visiting Rome.That’s pretty good for someone who isn’t well traveled and has never crossed the equator.

  86. Melbourne or Adelaide as well most likely. Though since I’ve been living in Melbourne for a few years, then technically, Kansas may be the furthest. Depending on how you look at it.

  87. Not very far. When I lived in San Diego, my husband and I helped some friends move to Fort Collins, CO, then later, we took a drive to Cheyenne, WY. 1163 miles from home.

  88. You missed the uninhabited islands of Ile Amsterdam 11,463 miles and Ile Saint-paul 11,475 miles, both are under 15 square miles.

    7,406 miles to Mumbai, India
    7,094 miles to Montevideo, Uruguey

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