When living on a train means your life’s off the rails

At first glance, this sounded like a cool idea: A German student, Leonie Müller, had a falling out with her landlord. So she decided to live on high-speed trains.

She considers herself a free spirit. I like that part.

Thing is, she’s not actually living on the rails. She bathes on the trains and doesn’t carry much. OK, that’s somewhat adventurous. But the trains are a means to shuttle between her college, and her mom’s and boyfriend’s houses. That’s where she actually sleeps.

She thought the lifestyle would save her lots of money. But by my calculations, she’s saving about $70 a month.

I can somewhat identify. I’ve never owned a house; I’ve been an Amtrak commuter for so long, I shift into a different rhythm as soon as the train pulls into New York City; and have lived out of a carry-on bag for quite some time, often weathering several climates in one trip.

And having recently divided my time between my home in Pennsylvania and Airbnbs in New York City for a photography course, I did start to feel like I was living on Amtrak. And I got really familiar with the grub at various train stations.

It was a novelty at first, but got old real quick.

I predict Leonie will put the brakes on her big adventure pretty soon. For a monthly saving of $70, it hardly seems worth it. Especially since she’s not really living on or off the train. She’s merely off the rails.

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