As promised a bit of an insight into what I think I would miss if I were to go back to the UK. I have lived in Leipzig for well over a decade now and see this as I said as my home. This is the place I have settled and set down some roots in for sometime, and even if hard at times the challenge has been worth it.
Let me put on my imaginary world hat and think about what I would miss from here.
In the UK other than around Preston I never was in such a great city for cycling than Leipsch. Many cycle paths and five minutes to the forest make it a great place for my wheels. Even if we have no hills ( well one hillock), unlike the Peaks I loved in the UK. Having lakes nearby is also an added bonus.
This is a cliché but something that I know holds true even with others who have moved here. It is harder to make friends than with other more gregarious cultures, even for a social butterfly like me. Now, a lot of Germans see the Brits as reserved. But any who have lived there for sometime and in different areas may hold a contrary view. There are exceptions in the UK and Germany, but I do believe the mates & acquaintances circle is larger quicker for Brits. However back to my point, once you have broken that Germanic exterior friendship tends to be on very solid foundations. So of course I would miss my German friends as much as I have missed some of my friends from the icckle island. Maybe because it takes longer to get to that close friends thing here.
Even if I am self employed, the Public holidays would be something I would certainly miss. Even after a decade here I forget when they are. I am sure all my German friends have them solidly locked in their dairies or calenders despite there being so many. Even with German holidays in my google calender they still creep up on me in a nice pat on the shoulder way.
It is hard to compare like to like. But this has been a annoyance of mine when going back to Lancashire. A bus service that runs so badly over the Christmas and New Year means taxis make a bomb from now stranded occasional visitors like me. I would miss the tram system of Leipzig. It is a great alternative to the wheels. Not perfect, especially the awful heating system. But they run regularly and during holidays.
Although this is changing in the UK due to austerity and alcohol prices, the drinking culture. It is not as simple as how much is drunk, cause Germans drink enough to sink a small battleship sometimes. However, in general you tend to go out later and drink steadier over a longer time . Of course binge drinking exists, but being a night owl this means my later hours in the UK were generally spent clubbing.
Sitting out in the summer in Leipsch till 1 to 2 in the morning, enjoying beers & cheers, all for shits & giggles is just fab. And if I am not too far out of my tree, cycling home at this time is a pretty nice end to the jollies.