Lonely Planet Writer

You'll be inspired to travel after seeing this pilot's popular Instagram

Lindy Mariëlle Kats has seen her Instagram following soar in recent weeks. The Dutch pilot chronicles her busy life, capturing shots taken both inside the cockpit of her Boeing 717, and at some of the stunning, far-flung countries she gets to visit.

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“I’ve worked as a pilot for three years now”, Lindy tells Lonely Planet. “I’ve always loved flying, but never thought it was possible to do professionally because it was so difficult to get in. When I was 15 though, I started to do some research, and after making contact with some student pilots I realised it wasn’t impossible after all. I went for the selections and got hired by the flight school.”

Lindy’s been hooked ever since. “I love feeling the take-off thrust when we depart,” she says. “It’s such an amazing feeling to have so many pounds of thrust in your hands. Also, I love to make a smooth landing after a challenging approach!”

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She started her popular Instagram account – which currently has over 108k followers – initially as a means to keep in contact with loved ones at home. “It was a way to stay in touch with my family and friends, as I was in Spain for flight school but I’m from Holland. Social media made the distance a lot shorter! My pictures on Instagram slowly got more likes by strangers, and it became a fast growing account after a few years. I love that my pictures are liked by so many. Maybe it’s because people are interested in the life of a pilot, since we travel to fun destinations and get to see the world from above!”

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Of the idyllic locations she’s visited, has Lindy a favourite? “I would say it’s the place where I live, Palermo in Italy – I love it so much here. The weather is perfect, the sea is Caribbean blue and the people are very friendly and welcoming. Sicily is definitely a must-see too. I still discover new incredible places, and it’s not touristy at all. Sometimes I wonder why…!”