Reasoning that a full-time train pass costs less than an apartment, a 23-year-old German writer and student has exchanged her life in a fixed location for one in perpetual motion. At the equivalent of $380 a month, she can catch a ride anytime day or night, and much more comfortably than other contemporary high-tech hobos.
Everything Leonie Müller needs travels with her in a single backpack, making it easy to switch rides or catch the overnight rail, washing up in the onboard restrooms. In a strange reversal of convention, it is cheaper for her to use her pass and sleep aboard than to stay in one place.
Europe’s extensive train network, most impressive (and consistently on time) in Germany, provides various speeds of travel and connections to just about any town or city, enabling Leonie to visit friends or crash with family without much effort or planning.
The move (or: moving) be permanent, but for now the costs and lifestyle make sense to her and provides material for her thesis project on nomadic living. She writes papers for school and posts for her blog while riding, and recommends noise-cancelling headphones for those who would follow her footsteps (or rail tracks, as it were).