Leonie Müller thinks living on a train makes her homeless. It doesn’t
She spends most nights sleeping at her boyfriend’s
Leonie Müller is a 23-year-old college student from Germany who has been getting a lot of attention recently for her decision to give up her apartment and live on trains instead. Despite this sounding like a terrible way to live, she now saves nearly £50 a month in rent and claims to be happier than ever.
She told the Washington Post: “It all started with a dispute I had with my landlord. I instantly decided I didn’t want to live there anymore — and then I realized: Actually, I didn’t want to live anywhere anymore.”
Instead, Leonie spends 379 euros every month (about £276), on a train pass which provides her with unlimited access to Germany’s rail network. She washes her hair in the train bathroom, does her college work on the train and lives out of a backpack filled with a few essential items.
Wanting to know a bit more about Leonie’s unconventional lifestyle and to hear it in her own words, The Tab got in touch to ask her a few questions. Although she was initially happy to chat with us, she went quiet after it became clear we weren’t buying in to her particular brand of bullshit.
In her interview with the Washington Post, Leonie says she wants to use her experience to inspire others to question their habits and be more adventurous. Although living on trains may sound like an ordeal, she’s relentlessly optimistic about it: “I really feel at home on trains, and can visit so many more friends and cities. It’s like being on vacation all the time.”
Leonie is possibly one of the only people to have ever described being homeless as like “being on vacation all the time” and the fact she thinks this shows how far her experience really is from actual homelessness. It’s even disingenuous to say she lives on trains, as she freely admits she spends most nights sleeping at her boyfriend’s or in the apartments of friends and relatives. That isn’t a brilliant money-saving lifestyle, that’s mooching.
The hundreds of thousands of people who are genuinely homeless in Europe wouldn’t be able to buy a train ticket, let alone get a friend or family member to put a roof over their head. They are often victims of horrendous circumstances, doing their best to piece their life together again. The last thing they need is a bohemian undergrad blogging about how easy it is to live without a home and (worse still) using her experience to write a paper for her degree.
There’s enough confusion about the difference between not having a home and being homeless without another worthy blogger glamorising life on the road (or in this case rails). Leonie is undoubtedly a positive person with an adventurous spirit but take her train ticket, boyfriend and considerate family away and it’s doubtful she’d be as happy.