Displacement is a vector representing both the distance traveled and the direction.
If you start at xo and move to x, your displacement Δx is:
Δx = x - xo
Move 5 meters north, Δx = 5 m north.
Now go the other direction, with a displacement of 3 m south.
The total distance traveled is 8 m. What is your net displacement?
Δx1 = +5 m north
Δx2 = +3 m south = - 3 m north
Net displacement: Δx = Δx1 + Δx2 = +5 -3 = +2 m north