German Woman Sick of Paying Rent Decides to Live on Trains

Tired of putting up with her landlord’s tantrums, a German student has decided to give up renting apartments altogether and live on trains instead!

“It all started with a dispute I had with my landlord,” said Leonie Müller. “I instantly decided I didn’t want to live there anymore – and then I realized: Actually, I didn’t want to live anywhere anymore.” So she purchased a special ticket that allows her to board any train in Germany at no charge. She now showers, changes, eats, sleeps, and even does her homework while traveling at speeds of up to 190mph. Sometimes she gets pizza delivered to the tracks at stopovers.

Leonie, 23, says that living out of trains has given her a lot of freedom and she’s enjoying every bit of it. “I really feel at home on trains, and can visit so many more friends and cities,” she said. “It’s like being on vacation all the time. I read, I write, I look out of the window and I meet nice people all the time. There’s always something to do on trains.”


Not only is Leonie saving a ton of money on rent, but she’s also adopted a minimalist lifestyle. All her belongings now fit into a single backpack – including her clothes, a tablet computer, college documents, and a sanitary bag. The rest of her clothes and possessions are stashed away at her parents’. The flat-ticket costs her $380 a month, while she used to spend about $450 on her previous apartment. But living cheap isn’t her only goal.

“I want to inspire people to question their habits and the things they consider to be normal,” she said. “There are always more opportunities than one thinks there are. The next adventure is just waiting just around the corner – provided that you want to find it.”


There are times when she crashes at friends’ or relatives’ apartments for the night – she is mostly accommodated by her boyfriend, mother or grandmother. Sometimes she books an apartment on AirBnB. And she says that her new lifestyle has done wonders for her love life. “Normally, we would have to have a long-distance relationship, but living on a train enables me to see him all the time,” Leonie said.

She added that most of her friends really like her idea, and some even admire her for being so adventurous. “Others, however, have reacted more negatively,” she said. “They feel offended by the fact that I question the ordinary way of life and living.” But the criticism hasn’t bothered her too much.


Leonie is documenting her experience of the train life on her blog She plans to keep it up for a year, and then write her final undergraduate paper on her life as a modern-day nomad.

For people who want to adopt a similar lifestyle, she has only one piece of serious advice: “Possessing a headset that mutes most surrounding noises is crucial.”

Photos: Leonie Muller


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