I agree with JDGray that this question may not be within the scope of the forum, but it's a teachable moment, so:
Use the tool
traceroute (also called
tracert on Windows) to identify the path your traffic takes. (Your packets may take one path on their way to the destination, and a different path on the way back to you, the source, but for a minute we'll ignore asymmetric routing.)
On your Mac, open Terminal; on a Windows machine, from the Start Menu, select Run and type "cmd" to open a Command Window.
You'll be a prompt, like
c:\> and at this prompt, type:
You'll see output like this, with some of the lines removed for brevity:
traceroute to ox.ac.uk (220.127.116.11), 64 hops max, 52 byte packets
9 ix-24-0.tcore1.lvw-los-angeles.as6453.net (18.104.22.168) 18.563 ms 14.462 ms 20.606 ms
10 if-3-2.tcore1.pdi-palo-alto.as6453.net (22.214.171.124) 176.588 ms * *
11 if-1-2.tcore1.nyy-new-york.as6453.net (126.96.36.199) 190.971 ms * *
12 if-3-2.tcore1.njy-newark.as6453.net (188.8.131.52) 184.038 ms 206.667 ms *
13 if-7-2.tcore1.l78-london.as6453.net (184.108.40.206) 176.868 ms 197.523 ms *
17 ae21.read-rbr3.ja.net (220.127.116.11) 184.593 ms 177.496 ms 182.139 ms
22 boucs.backbone.ox.ac.uk (18.104.22.168) 184.533 ms 171.511 ms 171.454 ms
Generally, while a lot of it may be nonsense at first glance, you can pick out an approximate geographic location just by looking at the city names on the left: you can see my test to Oxford passed from SoCal to NorCal, over to New York, back across the river to New Jersey, and then across to London and Reading before heading up to Oxford's network.
On the right side we have the "round-trip time" of each packet, which because fiber optic cable is transmitting light, can be roughly gauged by considering light travels to a mirror and reflects back to you at speeds of 300km in 2ms, or 1000M in 10ms. So we can estimate distance (after acknowledging there are numerous computers in the middle running software to process everything, so they add delay.) This is a bad example, because the as6453.net links are slow to reply to the trace route, but you can see I'm fairly close to Los Angeles. The trip up to San Francisco should be about 10ms more under normal conditions. Then across the continent is 60-80ms. Across the ocean is another 60-80ms. In the real world all the routers in middle cut the speed in half from the theoretical max.
In short, run a
traceroute to the hosts you use and see where the traffic goes. Beware that's a technical answer to a leading question; if you're concerned about state-sponsored surveillance of the Internet, you should be mindful of every government and every location where a ship's anchor has accidentally severed undersea cables. In our daily lives, we're more likely to encounter employer-based surveillance. Use S/MIME and TLS anyway.