The rock and mineral world welcomes you. I am from the midwest. I like Lake Superior agates so I started there. I can go to the beaches and collect them. Michigan is a very diverse geological area. I started learning about it and rock formation. I picked up a rock and mineral guide. When I got a few samples I couldn't identify I came here. Herschel is a moderator here and he showed me how to better identify my samples and I was hooked.
The books don't matter so much, most of them are similar. My vacations have taken me to some of those places with unique geology and by incorporating the museums, with rock/mineral shows and the shops I have gotten a richer understanding. Jewelery making, lapidary jobs, geology jobs are great opportunities.
I own a house so there were rocks on my land. Some were very interesting.I took them to a state run geology center, talked to a professor and he identified the rocks. I learned about how glaciers and the processes and just kept reading. I hope you have a similar experience.
This field covers glacilal action, water, lava, tectonic plates, metamorphic processes, volcanoes, it has touched on how man used the rocks, careers, vacations... come back, we can help anytime.