German student ditches apartment, buys an unlimited train pass

Leonie Müller's undergrad thesis will include an analysis of her months living on Germany's high-speed trains, washing her hair in the bathroom sinks and writing her papers at 100+ km/h.

Her old apartment cost about $450/month and came with a jerky, feuding landlord; her train-pass costs $380 a month and lets her travel regularly to visit her boyfriend, who lives across the country. She thanks her noise-cancelling headphones for making it all possible.

The 23-year-old's unusual housing choice has gained her media attention in Germany and appeared on national news sites such as Spiegel Online. "I read, I write, I look out of the window and I meet nice people all the time. There's always something to do on trains," Müller told German TV station SWR in an interview. Since risking the move, Müller's life fits into a small backpack in which she carries clothes, her tablet computer, college documents and a sanitary bag.

How one German millennial chose to live on trains rather than pay rent [Rick Noack/Washington Post]