At this point in the main character's story, he is visiting Erica at her apartment in a very classy area in New York. He sees the space that she has to herself, the many things she has scattered around the rooms, and the personal items that show that she's been there for awhile. He starts to reminisce about his high standard of living back at home in Pakistan and misses it. He misses it because for the last little while he has been moving from dorm room to dorm room as he is going to school and has not been really at home anywhere. He's been living on a lot less than one who is at home in his own country. Being "settled" means that you don't have to change rooms every semester to accommodate others. Being "settled" means peace and stability. But for the average college student, one must sacrifice that "being settled" until the diploma is obtained and career is stabilized.