I have encountered a few wandering NPCs along the roads. There is a fast travel mechanic where you have a chance of encountering a knight / bandit etc with a certain chance of evasion. I haven’t tried it out much because I’m too low level (they are knights in heavy plate armour ) so I don’t know if they disappear after you deal with them.
There are also plenty of ‘activity’ quest givers and side quests to keep you occupied. I’m 26 hours in and i’ve barely scratched some of the skills like alchemy and herbalism yet.
EDIT: One big caveat is to wait for a patch where they can resolve the save issues and bugs. This game will force you to redo hours of work if it crashes. It will only save when you sleep thoroughly, or use a purchased/crafted Save potion. There is a mod that helps you save regularly, but that also ruins the design of the game. It is meant to be tough on consequences. For example, if you forgot to bring a shovel to dig for an optional quest, too bad, that was your choice in the previous quest to sell it for coins (me).