In technical and common parlance, the phrase "chronological order" indicates that the items are in order of occurrence or creation, oldest first (being the first in the chronology).
So it's [ 1997, 1998, 1999 ] and not [ 1999, 1998, 1997 ].
Ordering most recent first as in the example given in the question is called reverse chronological ordering or ...
Ago works well here. It retains some of the nuance of time and can only really be replaced by "earlier" - which would refer to earlier in my journey which is neutral as to whether it means "at an earlier point", or "at an earlier time."