German Teen Lives on Train Full-Time and Travels Somewhere New Every Day

@dw_berlinfresh Do YOU think you could live on the train full time? #berlin #germany #germantrain #trains #lifeingermany ♬ original sound – Berlin Fresh

Due to the rising cost of rent and seemingly endless mortgage payments, many people have opted for alternative housing opportunities. Van living is especially popular among college students and young adults, and there is a growing number of families living out of RVs and renovated school buses. Some retirees are opting to spend most of the year on cruise ships, as they have found that it is more affordable than staying in their homes. But one teenager in Germany has decided to take advantage of his country's sprawling rail system, and has begun living on trains full-time.

Lasse Stolley is a 17-year-old German software developer who spends his mornings grabbing breakfast inside the first-class lounge and his evenings in sleeping cars. He showers in gyms and leisure areas, and washes his laundry at train stations. At a time when many teenagers are buying new clothes and gadgets, Stolley is able to fit all of his possessions into a single backpack, including three outfits, hygiene supplies, sleeping necessities, and technology.

The teenager has been living this way since he was 16, when he graduated from high school. He says that initially convincing his parents was a struggle, but eventually, they let him go. At first, it was difficult acclimating to life on the train, as Stolley had trouble sleeping for the first couple of months, plus he also had to be cautious to make sure his belongings didn't get stolen at night. But after his initial difficulties, he was able to settle into a routine and thoroughly enjoy himself.

The best part about Stolley's lifestyle is the freedom that comes along with it. Thanks to the flexibility of his job, he is able to work at different times of the day and take impromptu day trips. He takes advantage of this quite often, traveling all over Germany and the rest of Europe. On an average day, Stolley can travel over 600 miles. At 17, he has traveled to more countries than many people ever will in their lifetime, and he shows no signs of stopping anytime soon.

Surprisingly, Stolley's living arrangement is remarkably inexpensive. It costs approximately €10,000 (about $10,650) per year, and most of this money goes towards his first-class annual rail-card. Since a month's worth of rent in Germany costs €942 (about $1,008) on average, train life is an appealing option for a young adult with dreams of traveling. While it would be nearly impossible to do this in the United States, where the rail system is much more limited, Stolley's success is certainly an inspiration to anyone looking to explore while also earning a paycheck. Perhaps we can learn a thing or two from him.

Lasse Stolley is a 17-year-old who lives on trains in Europe full-time as a way to save money and see the world.


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Sarah Currier

Sarah Currier is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. Based in central Iowa, she is currently enrolled at Iowa State University and is working toward a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication with a minor in English. She loves all things creative, and when she’s not writing, you can find her immersed in the worlds of television, film, and literature.
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