Traveling on a plane is no picnic: You're encapsulated with dozens of strangers in a tiny space, the legroom is scarce, and that crying baby in the next aisle just won't quit. But, all those nuisances fall by the wayside the moment you look out the cabin window. There's nothing quite like a view of the Earth from above.
To celebrate these remarkable sights, we found 11 breathtaking aerial shots from Instagram that capture the best way you can possibly see a new place for the first time: from thousands of feet in the air. These vistas of natural wonders and man-made marvels will inspire you to whip out a camera phone on your next flight — that is, if you're lucky enough to nab a window seat. Just remember to switch to airplane mode during takeoff and landing, and bon voyage.