I agree that the basic ideas you've outlined are pretty neat. I also agree that the players typically won't follow a specific outline, and if you "encourage" them too much they might not gain full enjoyment of the campaign.
My approach is typically to have general sketchy notes for several cool places and to drop hints and rumors about them, letting the players actually decide which to pursue. Of course, I'm not generally trying to plan too far ahead and prefer an improv of details along the way unless I have a specific module I'm trying to run.
_________________Marv / FinarvynDCC Minister of Propaganda
; Deputized 6/8/11
DCC RPG playtester 2011, C&C
since 2003, ADRP
Since 1993, OD&D
player since 1975
"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
-- Dave Arneson