This German Teenager Has Been Living Exclusively On Trains For The Last Year And A Half

At the age of 17, Lasse Stolley from Germany has chosen an uncommon life as a modern-day nomad. Instead of following the traditional path of the young people his age, he left his parents’ house in Fockbek, Schleswig-Holstein, more than a year and a half before. Convinced that standard education was not for him, he persuaded his parents to embrace his unusual path. Since then, he’s been living on trains, traveling around his country, and working as a freelance developer during the day while sleeping on night trains.

“I’ve been living on the train as a digital nomad for a year and a half now,” Lasse told Business Insider. “At night, I sleep on the moving Intercity Express (ICE) train, and during the day, I sit at a table and work as a programmer, surrounded by many other commuters and passengers. I travel from one end of the country to the other. I’m exploring the whole of Germany.”

In 2022, he gave in to his restlessness, selling most of his belongings and packing what remained in a 36-liter rucksack, which he has carried with him ever since. Minimalism and avoiding acquiring new possessions are crucial to his lifestyle, as he must take everything wherever he goes. It’s not always simple, but he has found a way to make it work.

“The challenge of not accumulating more and more things is a central component of minimalist living. Especially with a backpack, you quickly reach a space limit,” Stolley said. “The most important thing is my laptop and noise-canceling headphones, which at least give me a little privacy on the train.”

Lasse Stolley obtained a Bahncard 100, allowing him to board and depart from any Deutsche Bahn unlimitedly. He registered for Germany’s train discount program after determining he wanted to leave his boyhood home and live a nomadic existence. Although it may not seem like much, he believes this unconventional living arrangement cost him about 10,000 euros a year. However, it is also not the most practical way to live.

“The early months were tough, and I had to learn a lot about how it all worked. Everything was different than I’d imagined,” the teen said. “Every night, I have to make sure that I catch the night train, and sometimes I have to reschedule very quickly because it suddenly doesn’t arrive.”

However, there are advantages to living on trains. The young nomad may go to almost every area of Germany, including busy cities like Berlin and Munich, the sea in the north, and the Alps for a pleasant trek. He’s become used to traveling about 600 miles daily, and everything is only a train ride away. He calculated that he had taken trains for more than 300,000 kilometers since leaving his parents’ place.

When Lasse isn’t working on his laptop, he enjoys hanging out in first-class carriages and eating in Deutsche Bahn lounges at train stations around the country. Personal hygiene is more challenging because he must shower in public recreation facilities and pools.

Although Lasse Stolley, 17, does not envision himself living on trains for the rest of his life, it works for the time being since he still has much of Germany to explore. In addition, his six-month-old Bahncard 100 card is still valid.

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