One of my massage instructors in school gave us some advice for when we started practicing. He said, "don't work, live, and play in the same area."
It seems like good advice since we are in the health care profession and it may be difficult to navigate from seeing your patient for a massage appointment to seeing them at the grocery store, and maybe seeing them out when you have had a few drinks. I know from experience that these lines are blurred if you live in a small town or an island.
For 10 years of my career, I have worked approximately a 20-minute drive from where I live. At the same time, for 2019, I was working a few days at a location that is a 2-minute walk from where I live.
In January 2020, I made the move to work completely out of the clinic that is only a 2-minute walk. I didn't have to change massage clinics technically because it's the same business (Align Massage Therapy), they just have multiple locations around the city.
The decision wasn't easy since I have developed a steady clientele over the past 10 years but, for me, it has a lot more pros than cons. I also believe strongly in supporting local businesses so I am very happy to work, live, and play in my neighbourhood.