The Original Series made the galaxy seem vast and unexplored. The films and the TNG-era series made it seem a bit more explored and charted out, but still huge.
NuTrek makes space feel like a small neighborhood you can cross in a few hours. I think they can rectify that by setting the next film out in uncharted territory, bringing back that spirit of exploration, instead of starting and ending on Earth.
That's not to say I think the movie should be "about" exploration. I don't think plain exploration in and of itself would make for an interesting storyline, but I do think exploration should be the overarching theme, the essence of Star Trek.