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Teenager reveals why he spends $6,300 a year to permanently live on trains

We didn't know train-squatting was a thing
  • Lasse Stolley left the comfort of his family home to live on various trains around Germany
  • He eats free meals in the first-class lounge, and washes his clothes in the sinks there too
  • While his train fare isn’t cheap, it’s certainly cheaper than paying rent

Published on May 7, 2024 at 4:59PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on May 7, 2024 at 5:01PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Tom Wood
Lasse Stolley the teenager who lives on a train
Lasse Stolley

Meet Lasse Stolley, the teenager who would rather pay for train tickets than rent.

The 17-year-old has been living on various trains around Germany since 2022.

He carries everything he needs in a backpack, sleeping on overnight trains and washing in public washrooms.

While it’s surprising that this is all legal, it’s even more surprising that Stolley loves his train-squatting lifestyle.

READ MORE: Man who bought an entire cruise ship on Craigslist now lives there

When Lasse Stolley was 15, he decided to trade the comfort of his family home for the significantly less comfortable experience of living on a train.

In recent years, the humble train has received some major upgrades all over the world, such as the Vietage, the five-star train where your bartender is also your masseuse.

And Japan’s Shinkansen train, which is about to launch luxurious private rooms.

While we could get used to living on trains like that, Stolley has been living on Germany’s regular national railway trains.

Initially, he bought an annual second-class youth ticket for $2,800, which gave him unlimited travel on trains operated by Deutsche Bahn (DB).

He learned the trick to finding quiet carriages for sleeping in and would sometimes sleep on the luggage rack when the seats felt too cramped.

Eventually, after someone didn’t see him on the rack and placed a microwave on top of him, he upgraded his ticket.

He now has a BahnCard 100, which costs $6,300 a year for unlimited use of first-class trains and includes meals.

It’s not cheap, but when you have no other expenses it’s a pretty good deal.

He eats his meals in the first-class station lounges and washes his clothes in the sinks there too.

Stolley plans his journeys through an app, plotting his days around where he feels like traveling to and when the next overnight train is.

During the day he runs his blog and is a digital nomad, earning money by coding.

He works in one of the lounges on board while traveling up to 600 miles per day.

At night he places his air mattress across a row of empty seats and puts on his noise-cancelling headphones to ensure a good night’s rest.

Stolley hopes that one day his knowledge of Germany’s train system could earn him a job.

So far, he has met people from all over the world and been able to travel around his country for a fraction of the price.

He plans on renewing his Bahn100 card to continue his unusual nomadic lifestyle.

“I could rent an apartment, but why?” Stolley says.

“I am not lonely and I have so many friends everywhere.”

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