That stuff becomes meaningless, in my opinion. It's why I'm getting burned by these open world games (Mentioned in my previous thread about it).
I think the issue with most other games is that they try to make every location special. It becomes distraction after distraction until at some point you eventually give up and start ignoring things.
The difference with Death Stranding and my own game is that most distractions are removed and a greater focus is put on traveling itself.
Specifically in The Forged Kingdoms, every location has the potential to be interesting but every location is not inherently interesting. Players can look left and see forest, look right and see forest, and look forward and see forest. There is no pressure to zigzag around and explore every square foot of the world. Instead players can focus on marching forward and getting closer to their destination.
Almost all activities are either to directly aid in reaching a destination (hunting so you don't starve, building a bridge so you don't have to walk around, stopping at an inn to replenish supplies) or to multitask while reaching a destination (talking to party members while hiking, making a map). Only on rare occasions would players encounter distractions that could sidetrack the expedition, such as discovering the site of a murder or a cave with strange markings.