A German student has found a novel way to avoid paying rent – by living on a train.
Leonie Muller, a 23-year-old student from Tübingen University near Stuttgart, decided to quit the rental game after having an argument with her landlord. Instead she bought a subscription that lets her travel on any train in the country.
She told the Washington Post:
It all started with a dispute I had with my landlord.
I instantly decided I didn’t want to live there anymore — and then I realized: Actually, I didn’t want to live anywhere anymore.
She now washes her hair in the on-train toilets and studies while zooming around the country. Her life has been condensed into a small backpack, just essentials like her clothes, laptop, college documents, and toiletries.
Leonie said she loves the freedom of her train lifestyle:
I really feel at home on trains and can visit so many more friends and cities. It’s like being on vacation all the time.
She’s also saving money. The flat rate ticket costs her about £240, whereas the rent of her old apartment was around £290. Not much of a saving, but you get free travel thrown in, which is always nice.
She tries to sleep at friends’ and relatives’ houses as much as possible, and says her boyfriend, mum and grandma have been very accommodating.
She told German TV station SWR about how her boyfriend and friends have reacted:
Normally, we would have to have a long-distance relationship, but living on a train enables me to see him all the time
Most of my friends really like the idea, although some consider it to be quite adventurous. Others, however, have reacted more negatively: They feel offended by the fact that I question the ordinary way of life and living.
She’s also serving an academic purpose with her experiment, her final undergraduate paper will be based on her experiences.
Unfortunately, if you wanted to do the same thing in the UK, we guess it’d probably end up costing you 10 times as much as an apartment.