Lasse Stolley, a 17-year-old German boy, has been living on Deutsche Bahn trains for a year and a half, working as a programmer, sleeping, and traveling. This is reported by the German version of Business Insider.

“There’s no privacy when you live on a train,” Stolley tells Business Insider. “I have a lot of freedom and I can decide every day where I want to go, whether it’s to the Alps, a big city, or the sea. I am absolutely flexible.”

In the morning, he checks the train schedule using the Deutsche Bahn app and decides where to go depending on the weather and his mood. Mostly he is attracted to tourist regions, such as the resort of Binz on the island of Rügen in the Baltic Sea or Mount Zugspitze, the highest point in Germany. “I often go on short hikes because exercise has to be part of my daily life,” says Lasse Stolley. Every few days, he visits Berlin, Frankfurt and Munich, the country’s major railroad hubs.

In the summer of 2022, at the age of 16, Stolley graduated from high school and wanted to start studying to become an IT specialist, but his studies were suddenly canceled, so the teenager made a new plan. Inspired by a YouTube documentary, he bought a Bahncard 100 (an annual ticket for all trains in Germany) and has been traveling unlimitedly on Deutsche Bahn ever since, documenting his life on his blog.

Such a trip by a minor in Germany is impossible without the consent of his parents, so Lasse convinced them, they agreed on all the legal issues, he cleaned his room, sold some things and went on his first trip to Munich on August 8, 2022. Lasse Stolley has now traveled more than 500,000 kilometers with Deutsche Bahn.

“The first months were hard, and I had to learn a lot about how it all works. It was not what I had imagined,” he says.

He could barely sleep on the train at night, but kept napping during the day. He would miss trains and get stuck in strange stations in the dark. Today, Stolley knows that the right organization makes all the difference.

“Every night I have to make sure I catch the night train, and sometimes I have to change my schedule very quickly because the train is suddenly late,” Stolley says.

The guy lives an extremely minimalist life, with all his belongings fitting into a 36-liter backpack: four T-shirts, two pairs of pants, a neck pillow and travel blanket, a laptop, and noise-canceling headphones that give him a little privacy on the train.

According to Stolley, living on the train costs him about €10,000 a year. The most expensive card is a Bahncard 100 first class card with a one-year validity period, which he purchased at a youth discount for €5,888. Other expense items include entrance fees to museums and public swimming pools, where Stolley takes a shower. He buys food in supermarkets or visits cafeterias in Deutsche Bahn lounges at major stations for free (this is included in the price of the Bahncard 100 first class). It should be understood that Germany offers significant (up to 50%) discounts for young people under 21, and some services, access to a number of museums and public places are free of charge.

But his parents continued to support him with money, Stolley says. He also has health insurance and is officially registered at his parents’ address. He also earns money by developing programs for an IT startup in Cologne.

The teenager dreams that one day his life on the train will be self-financed. He says he would like to advise the railroad on maintenance and safety. After all, he knows the individual train models better than anyone else, and what works well and what doesn’t.

“I would like to provide feedback to transportation companies, such as Deutsche Bahn or train manufacturers, and get paid for it,” Stolley says.

Line managers at Deutsche Bahn have already invited him to their office to discuss his unique experience and observations. However, there has been no corresponding offer of permanent cooperation.