Lonely Planet Writer

German student who lives on trains says it's like a constant holiday

German student Leonie Müller had a row with her landlady over rent and ended up living full-time on trains.

Leonie Muller has become something of a poster girl for the new generation who don't pay rent for accommodation
Leonie Muller has become something of a poster girl for the new generation who don’t pay rent for accommodation Image by / CC BY 2.0 Picture: tyatravwel/Facebook source: Facebook

Tracking her movements is easy as they have all been online since the University undergraduate gave up her apartment in Germany earlier this year.

Trains are now home to Leonie Muller
Trains are now home to Leonie Muller Image by Shankar s.

News.com.au reports that having decided not to live in Stuttgart anymore, the 23-year-old who attends Tübingen University some 30 kilometres away and has a boyfriend a further 370km away in Cologne, came up with a novel – and cheaper – way of living.

 Leonie (23) attends Tübingen University some 30 kilometres away  from Stuttgart in Germany
Leonie (23) attends Tübingen University some 30 kilometres away from Stuttgart in Germany Image by Antonio Zugaldia / CC BY 2.0

Following the spat over apartment rent, the London Independent reports that she bought a rail BahnCard 100 which then allowed her to board any train in the country at any time of the day or night.

Leonie made the decision to live on trains 24/7 and save on paying rent. The flat-rate price for her ticket comes in at €333, whereas she had to pay almost €400 for her previous apartment per month.

So how is life when you wash your hair in a train toilet and do your homework while speeding down the line at over 200 kilometres per hour while juggling trips to Cologne or visits to her mother in Berlin – over 600km from Stuttgart?

She admits: “I really feel at home on trains,” adding that it allows her the facility to visit her friends in different cities.

She told the Washington Post that it was a bit like “being on holiday all the time”.

“There’s always something to do on trains,” she said.

Actually Leonie has become something of a poster girl for the new millennium by not having to pay rent for somewhere to live. More than that, she has also become the poster girl for BahnCard 100 and her picture appears on numerous web sites from Bild to SpiegelOnline.

Leonie’s lifestyle has become a major interest across the German media and she is using her experience academically by documenting it on a blog. She plans to base her final paper on life as a train nomad.

Explaining that sleeping on the train has its problems because she is conscious of minding her belongings, she stressed that headphones were a must.

Leonie says she will remain homeless until she finishes university in April, 2016 by which time she will have documented her experiences for her thesis in media studies.