Perhaps the most fundamental practice you can do is the one you do by yourself. When you can attend group practice, fine, but don't worry too much about it. Some people even prefer to attend the teachings of visiting masters and then practice mostly on their own, staying clear of Dharma centers.
I would like to recommend a book for you to start practicing shamatha meditation (it is a good way to start).
It's called "The Four Immeasurables: Cultivating a Boundless Heart", by Alan Wallace, followed by "The Attention Revolution: Unlocking the Power of the Focused Mind", by the same author. These two books can set you in the right direction for quiescence meditation (I think you should start there and then, along the way, join vipashyana practice).
Here's Alan's website http://www.alanwallace.org/
. He's a very reputable author, completely trustworthy, and has a great style of communication.
I hope it helps. You can always place your doubts in the forum, but whenever you can try to contact a teacher by scheduling an interview, if possible.
It's not mandatory that you attend group practice (although it may be beneficial) as long as you have a qualified teacher that you can see say 2 or 3 times a year.
If you have some more difficult doubts, there's a fellow here in the forum who is quite qualified to answer. Search for the alias Namdrol (Acharya Malcom Smith). He is also reliable, meaning that you won't get BS as being Dharma from him. There are probably others, but Namdrol is who comes to mind right now.
Goof luck for your journey!