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I'm in similar situation and rust worked well for me, also having practical benefit of nicely complementing python. Otherwise you may try something functional: f#, scala or haskell.

I am looking to get into functional programming and exploring haskell. I will also look into Rust.

+1 for Rust.

I think there's two main areas I'd be interested in, at least from my own perspective:

  1) Rust and/or C++. Performance. Systems programming. Industrial 
     strength apps. Libraries such as CUDA.

  2) Javascript and WebGL. Chrome(OS). Dart. 
I've skipped over Agile process and C#, which is probably where the bulk of the career programmers are. If you avoid this, then I suspect you are guaranteed a more interesting life.

Both 1) and 2) above are where I'd suspect the bulk of the intellectual firepower is deployed. Think D3.js, three.js, Rust, boost, CUDA, OpenCL, WebGL.

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