As I understand it, back in the early days, the Internet was a group of connected networks, but not every network was connected to every other one. So traffic might travel through several of those networks in order to get from one computer to another. Nowadays things are somewhat different, and you even hear people talking about an Internet backbone—something which most definitely did not used to exist.
The linked article explains how it all works via peering and transit. A significant part of the backbone turns out to be co-location facilities where multiple networks connect together via internet exchange points. Thus many networks, and especially the major ones, tend to be interconnected. And you don’t see traffic going through as many intermediate networks as you might have in the days of yore.
For those on Windows machines, the following command shows the route that your data takes to get to the chadsnews.com server:
Under Unix/Linux use this command instead: