If this is your ping time, it has nothing to do with how many people play the game. Connecting to someone on the other side of the world wouldn’t get you a ping time of more than a few hundred milliseconds, assuming you have a decent connection. Ping time from the U.S. to Australia is generally around 240-270ms.
A 10 second ping would indicate a serious problem with your internet connection somewhere. Like, amazing you have a connection that works at all kind of serious.
And, regardless off the fact that the game is peer-to-peer, there are servers along the path of your connection. If just one of them has a problem then your connection time will suffer.
As far as the comment about “changing locations”, I assumed gstew was talking about using a VPN to change the apparent location of your computer. So, you could change to a location that has more people playing. (I don’t know what the rules are for recommending particular VPN services in these forums so I guess I won’t name one.)