#QXploration Russia: Comforts of nature, driven by finding purpose

Three hours north of Moscow's busy central circle, near Privolzhskoe, Tver Oblast, small domes stand as love letters to winter.  

Snuggled near the floes that wander down the Volga river this time of year — unless the waters are completely frozen over — the wonderous Villi Ulei luxury campsites nestle in among the pines dusted with fresh powder. The Graphite Shadow INFINITI QX80 gently passes each tree on its way deep into the forest, gracefully curving through the tundra and its pine needles scattered on the woodland floor.  

The scattered geodesic structures that comprise Villi Ulei lie within a nationally protected forest in Russia, preserving its beauty while allowing unprecedented access to the splendor of the forest, the river, and its captivating solitude. 

It's here that the latest chapter of the #QXploration series was held over several days in December. The event celebrated the capabilities of the new INFINITI QX80 and offered to its media participants and others  an escape from the nearby capital city that fades like frozen breath in the winter morning.  

INFINITI's participation in Russia fell under the banner of "QXploration" — where INFINITI encourages owners of the QX line-up to use the luxurious vehicle on their driveway for mindful getaways and comfortable retreats. The program follows previous expeditions in breathtaking but unforgiving terrains of the Gobi Desert, Jordan, and the American West. 

Venturing outside the city bounds, roughly 150 kilometers north, these #QXploration adventurers drove through small villages and countryside on their way to Villi Ulei without a preplanned route. Several roads come close to the protected forest lands, although only one rewards explorers willing to take the hard way. The last 10 kilometers featured a small, one-track trail to put the QX80's advanced All-Mode 4WD and Hydraulic Body Motion Control systems to the test.  

Once at the Villi Ulei site, participants could snowshoe, skate, or ski through the park.  

The activities underscored the event's larger theme, which draws the INFINITI QX80 closer to its Japanese-inspired roots. "Ikigai," loosely translated, is the concept of "a reason to live" and was selected for the latest #QXPloration event. Connecting to the forest's tranquility, the natural surroundings, and the rural setting aimed to reset participants from the bustling city life — indeed, it did. 

"The new experience with the (wood-burning) stove made me plunge into the wonderful world of childhood and remember the days spent with my grandmother," Auto Mail.ru Deputy Chief Editor Ekaterina Kvashenkina wrote after her stay.  

The theme of this #QXPloration challenge centered on reconnection to our natural surroundings and nearby resources that may be less than a day's drive away. The quiet peace and introspection that only a river, a forest, and a small yurt can provide.  

Click here to view more #QXploration photos.

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