I agree that we are more tempted to take picture of persons in the foreign countries because they are so different from the ones we met everyday, but as you spend more time in your own country, it is easyer to take picture; the only problem is to DARE, don't be too SHY. It's really fun, and for starting you can use long telephoto, but the major tips are:
- be ready to fire, so remove the cap, camera ON,
- settings must be ready (Programm mode),
- be alert, imaginative,......
You will find here a good example http://www.thomasleuthard.com/books.html
Check also my gallery
The members of this site do not seem to appreciate this gender, they like more landscapes and architecture........