I agree with many things, but in the end I must side with Strolen. I am too against Random Combat, but all for Random Encounters. Such an encounter may not really be a plot hook, or a plot seed. Random means for me, that I roll (OK I don't roll, but pull one... doesn't matter), and get something I did not think of. I cannot imagine everything, so a bit of inspiration from a random source may do good to the adventure. And if it doesn't look good, I just choose another. Or none.
But what if... what if the Road itself is the adventure? I mean, sometimes can the Travelling alone be the purpose, the goal, not necessarily in some spiritual sense. An example may do some good:
A rich merchant was looking for someone skilled in the ways of Nature (well, duh, the PC is a ranger). See, there is a road from A to B, and it is used for transport of goods, like you could expect. Pity that every winter the road is hard to use, for snow and monsters and animals make the journey too expensive. The idea was to find an alternative route, through the Great Marshes. While combat happened only with a few weak monsters, the player (and the PC) really won't forget it...
The mood was slowly changing: from boredom to discomfort, then to weariness... and at last heavy discomfort and fatigue, complete package with a nice disease that itches, and spreads if you scratch it. It also helped that almost every night the PC had a dream, most of them strange, some scary, some not. And in the last nights, where he fell to sleep (literally), there was one dream, that could be an enounter in fact, but he is not sure, not even today...
So a little contra-advice I may give:
_Very_ rarely, use even boredom. If the land looks basically the same desolate way, wherever you go, and if something breaks this mood, it probably tries to kill you. There are places where the life is not comfortable, however you try. Roads were built to make travelling easier (at first, that is).
Now I could need a little advice from you, fellow Travellers.
As some kind of a quest, a PC wants to go to a half-mythical place (background: her father wanted to get there, and vanished). The problem is, the place is halfway across the world. I can't simply say: "And in x months you are there." Fifty Random Encounters in Plains and Mountains won't do the trick, as you surely understand. ("Meet barbarian tribe number 15. Wear blue colours, nothing new besides this.") I need a little campaign that takes place while the hero travels hundreds, maybe thousands of miles. Has anybody some idea how to handle THIS amount of travelling?