Nomadic teen pays $10K annually to live as a 24/7 train passenger

He’s choo-choo-choosing his own path.

Lasse Stolley, 17, is making international headlines as a German “trainsquatter,” living his life aboard a Deutsche Bahn railcar at the cost of one unlimited annual ticket for approximately $10,000.

The homeless teen rides first class while traveling an estimated 600 miles of Germany and Europe daily, per the Daily Mail and Business Insider — sleeping in overnight trains, grabbing breakfast in the dining car, washing clothes in sinks and taking showers in public swimming pools and community centers all along the way.

Instagram/Lasse Stolley
Lasse Stolley shares his journey aboard Deutsche Bahn with his followers on social media. Instagram/Lasse Stolley

“Life on the train gives me the freedom to choose where I want to go at any time. Breakfast by the Baltic Sea in the morning and enjoy the sunset in the Alps in the evening — the possibilities are endless!,” the digital nomad captioned in a recent post on Instagram.

On most days Stolley sits among passengers at booths with a table for him to work on his laptop. Later, he’s known to stretch out across seats with his neck pillow and travel blanket to sleep with the help of noise-canceling headphones.

Since embarking on his journey more than a year ago, he’s also made stops to tour historic monuments, hike national parks and even see the northern lights in Scandinavia

The software coder uses an app to plan and track his daily route, often taking commuter trains by day and cross-country red-eyes by night.

When he’s not working on his laptop, Stolley makes stops throughout northern Europe for sightseeing. Instagram/Lasse Stolley
Stolley’s unlimited rail pass recently took him to Scandinavia. Instagram/Lasse Stolley

Stolley left his hometown of Fockbek in northern Germany in 2022 at age 16. “It took a lot of convincing,” he told Insider of his parents’ decision to support their son’s unconventional lifestyle.

After condensing his belongings into a single backpack, his wardrobe rotation now includes just four T-shirts and two pairs of pants.

Stolley chronicles his journey on social media and his blog, serving as an expert source on all aspects of Deutsche Bahn travel.

He hopes his notoriety and knowledge of train operations might secure him a job later. “My wish would be to give feedback to the transport companies, for example, Deutsche Bahn or the train manufacturers, and get paid for it,” he said.