I'm a sheep.
A lovely, fluffy sheep.
Do you have to travel to a location? I had a situation where a few were bunched up in the staging area and it seemed easier to focus on the quest than to travel and keep raising the amount of quest tokens needed.
Is this allowed?
You don't have to travel, but you will almost always want to, if you can. After all, there aren't many ways to get rid of locations in the staging area - you can either travel to them and explore them, or you can use some of the (not very frequent) effects that let you place progress directly on locations in the staging area. And every location that stays in the staging area will keep increasing the total threat level you're questing against, and thus reduce the amount of progress tokens you get to place on the quest anyway. In fact, not being able to clear locations quickly enough often leads to the dreaded "location lock", which is what happens when there's so much threat provided by locations in the staging area that you can't quest successfully, and thus can't clear the active location in order to travel to a new one.