A teenager from Germany lives on trains for a year and a half (5 photos)

21 June 2024

He travels about a thousand kilometers a day.

17-year-old German Lasse Stolli calls himself a digital nomad. For more than a year and a half, the teenager has actually been living on Deutsche Bahn (DB) trains. At night he sleeps in his compartment, and during the day he works as a programmer surrounded by other passengers, traveling throughout the country.

Lasse dropped out of school and left his parents' home at 16, but finds many benefits in his new lifestyle, Business Insider reports. “I have a lot of freedom and can decide every day where I want to go: to the Alps, to the city or to the sea,” says the young man.

In the morning, he checks possible train routes using the app and decides where to go based on the weather and his mood. Stolley's main attractions are the tourist resort of Binz on the Baltic Sea and Germany's highest mountain, Zugspitze. “I often go on short hikes because exercise is a big part of my daily life,” notes the hiker.

The teenager has already traveled 500 thousand kilometers by train - that's twelve trips around the world. Stolley says he often walks around Berlin, Frankfurt and Munich. In the summer of 2022, 16-year-old Lasse graduated from high school and wanted to begin training to become an IT specialist. However, the desired direction was closed, and the teenager found another career and life path.

Inspired by a YouTube documentary, he bought a Bahncard 100 (a German travel card that allows you to save money on all types of land transport throughout the country) and has since been traveling almost unlimitedly on DB in Germany and documenting his life on a blog. At first, the guy’s parents were skeptical about this idea, but the son convinced them, sold off unnecessary things, vacated the room and on August 8, 2022, went on his first trip to Munich.

“The first months were difficult,” admits the teenage blogger. He could barely sleep on the train at night, continued to doze during the day, could accidentally be late and was forced to spend long hours at the station waiting for the right train. Only over time did Lasse's experience teach him how life works in motion.

Today, Stolley knows that the most important thing is proper organization. “Every night I take the night train, and sometimes I have to change the schedule very quickly because it suddenly might not arrive,” complains the traveler. At his disposal is a 36-liter backpack, the space of which must be clearly calculated. Lasse's arsenal includes four T-shirts, two pairs of pants, a neck pillow, a travel blanket, a laptop and noise-canceling headphones, underwear and toiletries.

He washes his clothes by hand in the DB lounge sinks. According to Stolley, accommodation on the train costs about 10 thousand euros per year. This amount includes both replacement of clothing and accessories in case of damage, and fees for visiting public places (museums, exhibitions, swimming pools, baths). Lasse buys food at the supermarket and eats free snacks at the DB cafeterias at major train stations.

His parents continue to support him financially, but the teenager also makes money from his IT startup in Cologne. Stolley also has medical insurance in case of an emergency. The only thing the traveler continues to worry about is the safety of his belongings. As the guy warns, things are sometimes stolen on night trains, most often if the train passes through a large city.

The teenager dreams that one day his life on the train will become self-sustaining. He says he would like to become a consultant to the Railroad Department on maintenance and safety issues. Line management employees have already invited him to their office to learn about the blogger’s experience and observations.

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