I send email to my friends in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Africa from Brandon. I know that my message sure doesn't fly the straight line like our noisy crow. So, bouncing like a rubber ball all over space, how many kms does that email travel to get where it's going in BF?!
Interesting question for sure. There are so many different factors that a definitive answer would be tough and it could change from minute to minute. There are some interesting graphs online that show global internet traffic and there are likely some trace routes that could be done to show the major hops. It would also depend on what email service you and your friend are using ie: gmail and who the internet provider in Africa is. If they are using any sort of satellite internet the amount of km's would increase as well.
At a high level MTS has internet peering at major locations like Toronto, Chicago etc and there are multiple redundant paths to the internet. Once it hits some of these places it can branch off depending on email and internet providers.
It "the packets" certainly go quickly and faster than any old crow could fly.