And for all that, if only he'd not been so difficult, if only she'd been a little bit more something-or-other...they had some good times all the same. So he is forced to wonder- does travel make her think of him?
And he's probably only thinking this because he's doing so well. He's engaged in the struggle of really living and challenging himself to be a better person but historically this has always come with untenable consequences. He only wishes he had someone, anyone, he could trust (complicitly) to tell him: this is progress.
It's a flaw of the system, growth is not necessarily progress. Health is not necessarily wellness. Happiness doesn't mean success and success rarely means happiness. But he is happy. Still struggling, but he feels the progress. He thinks he's better able to get along now, better able to grope out to other people without hurting them, without irritating them, without his special form of selfishness that he works so hard to eradicate.
It's as if, one day, he sees himself on top of the world, and the next, he is trapped stumbling aimless in a fog. But he has to admit he is doing better in the fog than he has ever done before- despite not being able to see a thing once the mists descend. He has to pay attention. When the fog lifts: Where am I?