Holiday-makers experience the places where they are on holiday in different ways. Back in 1979, Erik Cohen introduced his 'modes of tourist experience'. Cohen's approach was promising for better understanding 'experiences' in a phenomenological way but very little happened afterwards with his 'modes' either in a theoretical or empirical way. This article reconsiders his theoretical model and reformulates the modes of experience, which have a basis in Alfred Schutz's lifeworld concept, and a theory on imagination and metaphors. The role imagination can play in free-time experiences is that it can provide a new synthesis between the self and the environment. The metaphorical context has a quality that can be referred to as 'out-there-ness'. The concept of out-there-ness, instead of Cohen's 'centre-out-there', can be well applied to leisure situations where no centres are relevant, but only orientations and metaphorical references.