Difference between what happened and WHY it happened.
Character’s experience vs. Author’s Intent.
The storyform is meaning. Truth organized. So, getting home is inessential to the meaning of the plot. Your example is great—you could do the storyform just like you said and the story would mean the same thing.
In fact, you could probably have him Learn that his family just even worth the trouble, and that having friends is what is most important. He could stop pushing people away, and just accept that there are greater relationships to be had elsewhere 🤣