Caroline Spurr, RD
Caroline is a Registered Dietitian from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. She graduated from Mount Saint Vincent University in 2017 and completed her integrated internship with the Nova Scotia Health Authority in Sydney, Cape Breton. She then worked as a nutrition counselor for nearly two years, helping clients achieve better health, weight loss and sustainable habit change.
While the beginning of her career was exciting, she felt a void, which was her desire to see the world and travel. In 2019, Caroline booked a one-way ticket to Vietnam to get her TESOL certification and become an ESL teacher as a way to travel and earn money. Four months after setting off on her journey, Covid struck Asia and extended her trip for longer than she intended. She’s taught children in many settings since arriving in Vietnam, including a language center, a public school, a kindergarten and now an international school. Over two years later, she is still living in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam teaching English, math and science to grades one and two.
While homesickness is a part of being an expatriate, her experience has been invaluable. Caroline enjoys teaching primary and embracing her silly side, though she hopes to find her way back into nutrition. Health and nutrition is a core value that Caroline lives into, through cooking, exercising and promoting health to anyone who will listen. Vietnam has taught her a whole new world of food, and she’s grateful to bring this new knowledge into her career as a dietitian.
Where is your favourite place to find new recipes?
I get most of my inspiration from Pinterest, although I never follow recipes. I also love to go to different restaurants to get ideas from how they prepare and present foods. Since being in Vietnam, I’ve enjoyed cooking with local friends and learning how to make Vietnamese dishes.
What skill or talent would you most like to have?
Right now, that’s an easy question. I wish I had the ability to easily absorb new languages. I had a hard time learning French in school (I wouldn’t say I can speak it now), so you can only imagine what learning Vietnamese is like. Living abroad in a country where the first language isn’t English has been a humbling experience.
If you weren't a dietitian, what would you do?
This is an interesting question. I went through school and internship with tunnel vision about what I wanted to do. Since veering off path and becoming a teacher, I’ve found challenges and rewards that I couldn’t have experienced if I stayed home doing what I planned. I will always be passionate about nutrition, but I’ve since let my mind open up to other possibilities. My takeaway is that life shouldn’t be planned and to say yes to different opportunities that come your way. Perhaps you’ll reveal a skill set you never imagined you would have.
What adventure do you dream of doing?
I’d love to spend a few months on a farm doing agricultural work or become involved in helping alleviate world hunger.
Where would you most like to live?
Right now I don’t have a solid answer to this question. I’m happy to explore the world for now because there’s always so much to learn about yourself when you live in a new place. I think eventually I will find my way back to Nova Scotia because it has a charm like nowhere else.