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I left dream husband, home & job — now I’m gay and traveling

A woman who left her husband and now lives out of a suitcase has revealed she’s never been happier — after embracing her sexuality and choosing what makes her happy at 35.

Lauren Burgess, now 37, says she was content with her life until she started experiencing anxiety in April 2018, breaking out in chronic hives due to stress which lead her to seek therapy.

It wasn’t until Burgess, who works as a business coach in California, started seeing a therapist that she began to work out her sexuality and realized she was a lesbian.

“I had the dream husband, house, dog and career but I started to realize something wasn’t right,” she told South West News Service, admitting she initially thought it was the long hours and stress of her job. “I saw people on social media talking openly about their sexuality and something started to twig.”

Burgess and her dog Ted went travelling in a van she found on Craigslist.
Burgess and her dog Ted went traveling in a van she found on Craigslist.
Lauren Burgess / SWNS
Burgess, 37, is now living her dream and travelling the world.
Burgess, 37, is now living her dream and traveling the world.
Lauren Burgess / SWNS
Burgess left her 'dream' husband Matt, house and career behind when she realized she was gay at 35.
Burgess left her “dream” husband Matt, house and career behind when she realized she was gay at 35.
Lauren Burgess / SWNS

“I went traveling in my van for a couple of weeks and it all clicked — I realized I was gay.”

Burgess said she experimented with women in college but didn’t think anything of it.

“It was just a bit of fun back then,” she said, saying she didn’t think anything of it until COVID hit in 2020 and she found herself slipping into depression.

“I could hardly get out of bed,” she recalled. “Matt [my ex-husband] and I started having marriage therapy and we discussed traveling, but all of a sudden he changed his mind and had the confidence to tell me that it wasn’t what he wanted.”

She separated from her husband in February 2021 and went travelling along the West Coast of America ending up in Joshua Tree, California.
She separated from her husband in February 2021 and went traveling along the West Coast of America ending up in Joshua Tree, California.
Lauren Burgess / SWNS
She bought a house in California, in January 2022 and let it out during weekends.
She bought a house in California in January 2022 but traveled during weekends.
Lauren Burgess / SWNS

Burgess said she went traveling anyway, buying a van on Craigslist and embarking on an adventure for a few weeks, which is when things “started to make sense.”

“I’d been seeing a lot of people on social media talking about their sexuality and I began to realize that I might be bisexual,” she recalled. “But on the trip, it all clicked and I realized I was definitely gay.”

Burgess came home and spoke to her husband Matt, 40, about getting a divorce.

“Telling Matt was really hard but he was supportive,” she said, admitting she felt “selfish” at the time. “But now I’m living my dream life traveling the world.”

In June 2022 Burgess decided to travel to Europe, leaving Ted with her ex-husband.
In June 2022 Burgess decided to travel to Europe, leaving Ted with her ex-husband.
Lauren Burgess / SWNS
“I had the dream husband, house, dog and career but I started to realize something wasn’t right," she said.
“I had the dream husband, house, dog and career but I started to realize something wasn’t right,” she said.
Lauren Burgess / SWNS

The pair separated in February 2021 and Burgess packed up her belongings and her Goldendoodle Ted and went traveling along the West Coast of America ending up in Joshua Tree, California.

She then took her traveling a step further in June 2022 and traveled to Europe, leaving Ted with Matt.

“It’s been amazing to explore Europe,” she gushed. “I’ve been to loads of cities like Copenhagen, Amsterdam and now I am in Lisbon.”

Burgess described her ex as an “amazing person” and says she still cares a lot for him.

“It’s been really hard, but I had to follow my dreams,” she said. “I thought I was living the life of my dreams before but now I really am.”

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